Contest between mentor, mentee in Kimanis polls

Mohamad Alamin (left, blue shirt) and Karim Bujang (white shirt) after nominations closed in Beaufort today.

BEAUFORT: Warisan’s Karim Bujang is unperturbed over his failure to capture the Kimanis parliamentary seat in the last general election, saying he has a “gut feeling” things will turn out differently come Jan 18.

Karim is making his second attempt to wrest this southwestern Sabah constituency from Barisan Nasional, which has held the seat for three terms since 2004.

He lost narrowly to Anifah Aman in GE14 but the result was later declared null and void after the Federal Court upheld an election court’s decision to nullify Anifah’s win.

Karim, who will go against Barisan Nasional’s Mohamad Alamin in a one-on-one fight, said he is not worried despite reports that former Kimanis MP Anifah Aman would be supporting BN in the polls.

“People can say anything like ‘we are scared’ but the truth is that Warisan has never been scared of anybody.

“I don’t want to sound overconfident but I have a gut feeling about this.

“Chances for Warisan are good but we should not be complacent. We cannot take it easy,” the former Umno veteran told reporters after nomination day for the Kimanis polls here today.

Karim, the Kimanis Warisan chief, expected the fight to be close but a peaceful one.

“It will be a friendly fight, nothing violent. It is a gentlemen’s fight — let the people decide.”

Meanwhile, Alamin, 48, is looking forward to square off with his former senior and mentor in Umno.

“I have known him for a long time when he was in Umno. He was also an assemblyman for Bongawan for 25 years before that.

“So I can be considered his mentee but he has changed sides. We are ready to take him on,” he said, adding he will fight to ensure Kimanis remains a BN stronghold.

The Kimanis Umno chief said he would be highlighting the dilemma faced by Sabahans in Parliament if elected.

“I think the main issues in Sabah are well-known. I don’t have to say more but we will see what other pressing matters there are after this,” Alamin said.

Earlier, Karim downplayed the presence of former prime minister Najib Razak, famous for his “Malu Apa Bossku” tagline, at the nomination centre to garner support for Alamin.

“I was just wondering … a person who has a case in court can come here and act like a ‘boss’ and people are supporting him.

“What sort of rubbish is this?”

There are 29,644 voters in Kimanis, comprising 52% Muslim Bumiputeras, 41% non-Muslim Bumiputeras and 6% Chinese.