Warisan hasn’t decided on Kimanis by-election candidate, says Shafie

Warisan president Shafie Apdal says the candidate chosen must be likeable to voters and one who can perform.

KOTA KINABALU: Warisan president Shafie Apdal has yet to decide whether Karim Bujang will get to re-contest the Kimanis parliamentary seat which has been vacated following a Federal Court ruling.

Speaking to reporters after returning from a trade mission from Japan here today, the Sabah chief minister said he would wait for the Election Commission (EC) to announce nomination and by-election dates first.

Shafie, however, confirmed that his party would be the one contesting Kimanis, vacated by former foreign minister Anifah Aman after the court’s decision.

“Of course, Warisan will contest. The understanding has been there and we have stated before that it was we who brought the case to court.

“We are looking into some names. When the time comes, we’ll announce who it is. I think what’s important is that the candidate must be likeable to voters and one who can perform,” he said.

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

Asked who he felt would pose the toughest competition in the by-election, Shafie said, he couldn’t single out anyone yet.

“I’ve gone through many by-elections in my life for the last 32 years. I don’t take lightly whoever they are. We just have to make sure we work harder to win,” he said.

“In life, we can’t be too overconfident and too proud that we can secure a win. We must reach as many voters as possible,” Shafie said.

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

On Monday, a five-member Federal Court bench upheld the decision of the election court that declared the Kimanis parliamentary constituency election, which was won by Anifah, null and void.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who headed the bench, said there was no error by the election judge in the finding of facts.

The Election Court had struck out Karim’s election petition against Anifah, EC and EC’s returning officer on Nov 19 last year.

Later, the Federal Court ordered the election petition, filed by Karim, to be remitted to the Election Court for trial.