KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin is confident of the party pulling off another “Tanjung Piai” in Kimanis, following today’s Federal Court ruling upholding the Election Court’s decision that Anifah Aman’s victory in the parliamentary seat was null and void.
He said the party’s state chapter had decided to defend the seat even before Anifah’s case was heard in the Federal Court.
The Kinabatangan MP added that two or three candidates had already been shortlisted to contest the seat.
“We have identified one of them to shoulder the responsibility of garnering a win for Barisan Nasional (BN) at the by-election,” he told FMT.
“We will announce the name after the Election Commission (EC) decides when the by-election will take place.
“We are confident of bringing the sentiments and spirit of the Tanjung Piai victory to Kimanis, and defending a seat which has been repeatedly won by Umno.”
Pakatan Harapan (PH) was soundly defeated in the Tanjung Piai by-election on Nov 16, losing to BN by over 15,000 votes. It was the fourth of nine by-elections the coalition had lost since sweeping to power in the 14th general election.
Anifah, a former Umno member, won the Kimanis seat by a margin of 156 votes. Contesting on a BN ticket, he obtained 11,942 votes while Warisan’s Karim Bujang garnered 11,786 votes.
But Bung said the coalition government of Warisan, PH and Upko in Sabah had not performed as expected since taking over in the May 9 polls last year.
“Sentiments are strong that they have not become a good government that looks at the economy or develops rural areas.
“That is why I am quite confident that Umno/BN will defend the seat in Kimanis,” he said.
He added that Sabah Umno had laid the groundwork ahead of the court case by consistently holding party events at the grassroots level.
“Our election machinery at the 19 polling districts have been mobilised, and our party’s wings have been actively going to the ground for some time now.”
Meanwhile, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee said the party would decide on its course of action for the Kimanis by-election on Thursday.
“SAPP will discuss the by-election matter at the coming Supreme Council meeting,” he said.