Sandakan folks expect its reps to help Sandakan revive its economy

Stephen Wong Tien Fatt,

SANDAKAN: It was good news for the people of Sandakan when two of its representatives were appointed as ministers in the new Sabah government.

Sandakan member of parliament Stephen Wong Tien Fatt, who is also Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sabah chairman, became a nominated assemblyman and appointed as the Health and People’s Well-being Minister, while Tanjong Papat assemblyman Frankie Poon Ming Fung, who is also DAP Sabah vice chairman, was appointed the Youth and Sports Minister.

The locals here have however voiced concern over the ‘dying’ Sandakan town now, as with both representatives appointed as ministers, it is unlikely that they would neglect the development of Sandakan town.

A local shop owner here, Chan Fong Chu, 64, said the people in Sandakan had voted for DAP because they thirst for a change.

“While Wong retained his Sandakan parliamentary seat, Poon had won because of the stagnant growth of Sandakan town. We want some changes. Over 300 shops have closed down over the past two years, along with the apparently abandoned tall buildings here, hence we want things to change. As a shop owner here, I am also very concerned with the economic situation in town.

“Before, the Tanjong Papat assemblyman was Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, who was the Minister of Industrial Development. Because of the heavy commitment to his post, he had neglected Sandakan. We hardly see him (Tan) as he was always in KK (Kota Kinabalu).

“Now that we have elected Poon and he has been appointed the Youth and Sports Minister, will history repeat itself? We hope not. We hope that Poon, as a first time minister and assemblyman, will be able to fulfill all his responsibilities and take good care of Sandakan town. We hope the same of Stephen Wong, who is holding even more responsibility on his shoulders,” she stressed.

With the Sandakan Municipal Council about to be elevated to Sandakan City Hall in July this year, and with shops shutting down and lesser locals going to town, Sandakan town truly needs immediate attention from its leaders.

Another assemblyman from Sandakan appointed to the Cabinet is George Hiew Vun Zin, the Karamunting assemblyman under Parti Warisan Sabah, who has been appointed as the assistant minister of Local Government and Housing.


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