Rina Jainal of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan). — Bernama pic

Veteran and newcomer women candidates in battle for Kukusan in Sabah state election

TAWAU, Sept 14 — The new seat of Kukusan is witnessing a clash between a veteran and a newcomer in the 16th Sabah state election.

And if the 12,640 voters in the constituency are looking for a woman representative in the September 26 polls, it’s a toss-up between Chaya Sulaiman, 60, and Rina Jainal, 39.

Chaya of the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Rina of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) are the only women candidates among the seven contestants.

Chaya, the Kalabakan Wanita Umno chief, is an old hand in politics, having been with Umno in Sabah since 1991.

“My selection as the Umno candidate for Kukusan is the result of my patience and undivided loyalty to the party. I want to achieve history by becoming the first woman elected representative here,” she told Bernama.

If elected, she wants to do more for the women folk, apart from creating an education hub in Kukusan, one of four state seats within the Kalabakan parliamentary constituency.

“We want to continue generating economic growth, and an important task is to strengthen education by making it an education centre so that our children need not go out of this area to further their studies,” said Chaya, the older sister of Kalabakan Member of Parliament Ma’mun Sulaiman, who is from Warisan.

Rina, on the other hand, considers herself a newbie but far from being a pushover.

She pledged to continue working hard for the people and to bring development if given the trust to be the state assemblyman.

“I ventured into politics three years ago with Warisan, and before that I concentrated on my career as an entrepreneur apart from being actively involved in non-governmental organisation work through Jalinan Sokongan Komuniti Keluarga in Kalabakan.

“My advantage is that I’m involved in charitable and community work like workshops to empower women and self-improvement activities including on education,” said Rina, the Kalabakan Wirawati chief.

Rina said she was confident of being accepted by the voters, as she could relate to both the youth and older generation.

The other candidates in Kukusan are Ismail @ Taufik Muin of Parti Cinta Sabah, Lee Boon King of Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah, Wong Jin Soon of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, Ismail Idris of United Sabah National Organisation and Rosdiansah Mohd Nor of Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah. — Bernama