Don’t underestimate BN pull in Sabah, KJ warns Warisan

Umno’s Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin speaking at a BN ceramah at Batu 6 in Kimanis last night.

KIMANIS: A victory for Barisan Nasional in the Kimanis by-election will pave the way for the resurgence of the once-dominant ruling coalition in Sabah, said Umno’s Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Rembau MP and former youth and sports minister said the by-election on Jan 18 will be a stepping stone for BN to regain the state as part of its bid to recapture Putrajaya in the next general election.

“This will be the first test for BN in Sabah. In the peninsula, we have faced several by-elections, which we initially lost like in Seri Setia, Balakong and Port Dickson.

“But, later, we were given back-to-back victories by the people in Cameron Highlands, Semenyih, Rantau and the last by-election in Tanjung Piai.

“Don’t think that just because Sabah is under Warisan, BN cannot win in Kimanis,” he said to applause from the estimated 100 people at a ceramah at the Batu 6 polling district here last night.

Khairy urged the constituents to vote for BN candidate Mohamad Alamin so there would be another opposition voice from Sabah fighting for the state in Parliament.

“Now we are left with the lone BN MP from Sabah, Bung Moktar Radin, speaking up in Parliament. I sympathise with him because he is making frequent visits to the court,” he said in reference to the corruption charges faced by Bung Moktar and his wife, Zizie Izette Abd Samad.

“If Bung is not in Parliament because of the court trips, who is left to speak for Sabah? The answer is Kimanis.”

Khairy also cautioned the voters not to believe claims by Warisan that BN was a Malaya-based coalition.

“They are saying this so people would reject BN and support Warisan which they think is a Sabah party,” he said, describing it as a “parochial sentiment”.

“If people say Sabah BN is together with the national BN, that is okay because we are in a position to govern the whole of the country.

“Warisan says they are a Sabah party for Sabahans. If that is true, then there is no need for them to be in the federal Cabinet.

“Their ministers should leave but they are still there. Why? Because they know they have to work with the central government.”

He claimed the three Warisan federal ministers – Mohamadin Ketapi, Darell Leiking and Liew Vui Keong – were weak and had failed to carry out their duties well.

Khairy also said that when he contested for the Umno presidency previously, he had suggested for Sabah Umno to be granted autonomy because of the state’s status as being one of the territories that formed Malaysia.