BEAUFORT: It’s confirmed. The Kimanis by-election on Jan 18 will see a straight fight between Barisan Nasional and Warisan.
BN’s Mohamad Alamin and Warisan’s Karim Bujang were the only two names announced by returning officer Jupari @ Jupry Etok after nominations closed at the Dewan Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Dun Banir here at 10am today.
The by-election follows the Federal Court’s confirmation of an election court ruling that the victory of Anifah Aman in the seat in the last general election is null and void.
The election court said it had found discrepancies in the conduct of the election process and widespread non-compliance of the election laws, which had affected the outcome of the polls.
Anifah stood on a BN/Umno ticket but resigned from the party later to become an independent. He had defeated Karim by a slender 156-vote margin, obtaining 11,942 votes against 11,786 garnered by his Warisan opponent.
Alamin, 48, a Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia-trained lawyer, is the Kimanis Umno chief and one-term assemblyman for Bongawan, one of two state seats under Kimanis.
He lost the Bongawan seat to Warisan’s Dr Daud Yusof in last year’s general election.
Karim, 66, is a former Umno veteran and five-term Bongawan assemblyman and a former state assistant minister.
Alamin arrived at the nomination centre at 9.04am, accompanied by BN leaders including former prime minister Najib Razak, Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan and MCA president Wee Ka Siong.
Karim arrived some five minutes later, accompanied by Warisan, Upko and Pakatan Harapan leaders, including Warisan president Shafie Apdal, PKR adviser Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and Sabah PPBM chief Hajiji Noor.
Early voting will be held on Jan 14.
There are 29,644 voters in Kimanis, comprising 52% Muslim Bumiputeras, 41% non-Muslim Bumiputeras and 6% Chinese.
This is the second by-election in Sabah and the 10th in the country after the May 2018 general election.