KOTA KINABALU: Senior leaders of Sabah Pakatan Harapan component parties arrived at a consensus today to allow Warisan to contest the Kimanis by-election.
The meeting, convened by Sabah PH chief Christina Liew, who is also state PKR chief, was attended by all the component parties although Sabah PPBM chief Hajiji Noor and Sabah DAP chief Frankie Poon couldn’t make it.
Liew said Hajiji was in Kuala Lumpur while Poon had to attend an event in his capacity as Sabah health and people’s wellbeing minister.
However, Sabah PPBM deputy chief Masidi Manjun was there while the DAP was represented by state Youth and Sports Minister Ginger Phoong Jin Zhe.
A total of 16 representatives, including Liew, Masidi, Phoong and Sabah Amanah chief Lahirul Latigu, endorsed Warisan’s candidacy. The meeting ended at 7.40pm.
“The Sabah PH leadership, with its autonomy power, has agreed to allow space to Warisan to place a candidate for the Kimanis by-election,” Liew said in a statement signed by all those who attended.
“This decision is based on the election petition for the Rantau state seat where it was agreed that the party that contested the seat in the 14th general election be allowed to re-contest,” she added.
Liew said this was also the case for other by-elections where the incumbent parties were given the mandate to re-contest the seats.
“The Sabah PH component parties will support and ensure a victory for the Warisan candidate,” she said, adding that the election machinery for the respective parties would be activated soon.
This decision puts to rest doubts over whether Warisan will get to contest the seat after the previous lobbying by Sabah PPBM as well as by Sabah PH youth leaders, with the exception of DAP, which wanted the peninsula-based coalition to contest the seat.
Sabah PPBM liaison committee secretary Ronald Kiandee had announced on Sunday the party’s intention to contest the Kimanis by-election and asked PH national leaders to give it a shot.
Kiandee, who is Beluran MP, said Sabah PPBM felt it should contest in the by-election as the party’s Kimanis division had been very active on the ground since PPBM spread its wings to Sabah in April.
Sabah PH youth leaders, meanwhile, held a meeting last night, with all state youth wing leaders agreeing to push their party leaders to let the ruling coalition place a candidate in Kimanis instead.
“This is a consensus reached by my counterparts in other PH parties,” said Sabah PKR Youth chief Raymond Ahuar, who also leads the state’s PH Youth wing.
The DAP youth wing, however, had said it was staying neutral in the matter.
Both Sabah PPBM and the state PH youth leaders said, however, that they would back any candidate ultimately picked to run for the seat.
Last week, the Federal Court upheld a decision by the election court to nullify the Kimanis election results of 2018. The Election Commission has yet to announce the nomination and polling dates for the by-election.
The parliamentary constituency was won by Barisan Nasional through former foreign minister Anifah Aman. He won with a 156-vote majority, defeating Warisan’s Karim Bujang.