KUCHING, April 26 – Twenty-two women would be contesting in the 11th Sarawak state election, compared to 16 candidates in 2011. An equal mix of fresh faces and senior players, the candidates include five in ‘Team Adenan’, namely Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali (N7 Samariang), Hajjah Simoi Peri (N28 Lingga), Datuk Fatimah Abdullah (N56 Dalat), Rosey Yunus (N71 Bekenu) and new contender, Datuk Janet Lau.
Janet, widow of Robert Lau Hoi Chew, the federal deputy Transport minister who died in 2010, would be contesting as a BN direct candidate for the Pelawan seat. Samariang is the only constituency that would see two women candidates vying for the seat – incumbent Sharifah Hasidah of PBB and Amanah’s Nani Sahari, in a three-cornered fight with PAS’ Yusof Assidiqqi Ahmad Sharkawi.
Sharifah Hasidah won the seat in 2011 with a 5,431-vote majority. Joining the fray are six women candidates from DAP including incumbent Violet Yong Wu Wui who will defend her Pending seat, Christina Chiew Wang See (Batu Kawah) and Ting Tze Fui (Meradong). Another three, all fresh faces, are Irene Mary Chang Oi Leng (Bukit Assek), Yong Siew Wei (Repok) and Rinda Juliza anak Alexander (Pakan).
PKR’s Voon Shiak Ni will join BN in the five-way tussle for the new Chinese-majority Batu Kitang constituency with DAP and two independents. Also from PKR, Athina Klaywa Sim will be in the ring for the new Serembu seat with Buln Patrick Rios (Star), Miro Simuh (BN) and independent candidate Nyomek Nyeap.
In total, six women candidates would be contesting for PKR. Meanwhile, Hamidah Mokhtar is the lone woman candidate contesting under PAS ticket. She will be slugging it out in Beting Maro with Amanah’s Andri Zulkarnaen Hamden and BN’s Razali Gapor. The SE-11 also saw local opposition party, Star, fielding two women candidates, in Simanggang and Marudi. Polling is on May 7.