SIBU, 4 April 2011 - The main focus of the April 16 Sarawak polls -- the battle for Chinese-majority constituencies -- will see some high-profile match-ups.
Sarawak Barisan Nasional yesterday named 15 Chinese candidates, all from the Sarawak United Peoples' Party (SUPP), of which 13 are likely to come up against opponents from DAP.
Of the 14 seats, SUPP won seven seats in the last round, DAP took six while the other was won by Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
Leading the list of prominent figures is Piasau incumbent SUPP president Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam, who will be challenged by newcomer Ling Sie Kiong of DAP.
Sarawak DAP chairman and Bukit Assek incumbent Wong Ho Leng will be up against SUPP contender and newcomer Chieng Buong Toon.
Another key figure will be SUPP Sibu chief Datuk Wong Soo Koh, who will be defending the Bawang Assan seat where newcomer Alice Lau Kiong Yieng has been named by DAP.
It will also be a day of reckoning come polling day for SUPP incumbents Tan Joo Phoi (Batu Kawa), Andy Chia Chu Fatt (Pujut), Vincent Goh Chung Siong (Pelawan) and Datuk David Teng Luing Chi (Repok).
They will be up against the usual DAP candidates, those who had contested and lost previously.
They are Chiew Wang See, Fong Pau Teck, David Wong Kee Woan and Dr Wong Hua Seh respectively.
As for the DAP incumbents, Violet Yong will face off Professor Dr Sim Kui Hian in Pending, Chong Chieng Jen against Datuk Alfred Yap Chin Loi in Kota Sentosa, Ting Tze Fui against Ling Kie King in Meradong and Chiew Chiu Sing against Ling Kuong Meng in Kidurong.
All SUPP candidates in the DAP- held seats are newcomers.
As for the Padungan seat won by PKR in the last election, SUPP will be fielding Sim Kiang Choik while DAP named Wong King Wei.
Geographically, four of these Chinese-majority seats are in Kuching area -- Padungan, Pending, Batu Lintang, Kota Sentosa and Batu Kawa.
Four are in Sibu -- Repok, Meradong, Bukit Asseh, Dudong, Bawang Assan and Pelawan.
The Chinese-majority constituencies in Miri are Piasau and Pujut.