Warisan ready for by-election, says seat ‘non-negotiable’

Warisan candidate Karim Bujang says he leaves it to the party to decide if he will contest in a by-election. (Facebook pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah said today it is ready for a by-election for the Kimanis parliamentary seat after the Federal Court upheld a decision to declare the election of former foreign minister Anifah Aman null and void.

Warisan secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr said the seat is “non-negotiable” and that party president Shafie Apdal is expected to name the candidate at the appropriate time.

Warisan has a partnership agreement with Pakatan Harapan – comprising Sabah DAP, Sabah PKR and Sabah PPBM – and United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko).

In the 2018 general election, Warisan fielded Karim Bujang, who garnered 11,786 votes – 156 fewer than Anifah, who stood on an Umno ticket. Anifah has since left Umno to become an independent.

Karim, who challenged the election results which led to today’s ruling by the Federal Court, said he had always believed in the process of law when he filed his election petition.

“If you have evidence of injustice, then you must fight,” he said.

Asked whether he will stand in a by-election, he said he will leave it to Shafie to decide.

Sabah PPBM said it will honour the PH-Warisan electoral pact and support whoever is picked for the by-election.

State PPBM chief Hajiji Noor, however, acknowledged that Kimanis is a Warisan seat.

Like Anifah, Hajiji also left Umno to become an independent but later joined PPBM after helping to set up its Sabah chapter.

Bung Mokhtar is dreaming, says ex-Umno rep

A former Umno member who defected to Warisan has dismissed as “a dream” a claim by Sabah Umno MP Bung Mokhtar Radin that the party could pull off an upset victory in Kimanis, as the Barisan Nasional won in Tanjung Piai, Johor, recently.

Saddi Abdul Rahman, who is Sukau assemblyman, said: “Kimanis and Tanjung Piai are a different ball game altogether”. Umno and PAS were strong in the peninsula but in Sabah the majority had already rejected BN.

“Many Sabahans want a Sabah-based party to represent them at the national and federal level,” he told FMT.

Saddi said Umno failed to fight on state rights, especially in asserting its claim to be regarded as an equal partner in the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

Bung Mokhtar was the only MP from Sabah who abstained from voting on a constitutional amendment on the matter in April.