KIMANIS: A former district community leader has urged voters to deny Warisan candidate Karim Bujang of a by-election victory because of alleged unfair treatment to non-Muslim bumiputeras while he was Bongawan assemblyman.
Tay Jock Liang, former Membakut district chief, said voters of the Kadazandusun-Murut ethic group should deny Karim a return to public office.
Tay accused Karim of being the cause of many non-Muslim bumiputeras lagging behind their Malay counterparts.
Karim was assemblyman for Bongawan from 1994 to 2008.
Tay said Karim had broken with a traditional power-sharing arrangement between the Kadazandusun-Murut, the Chinese, and the Sino-KDM after they had agreed to make way for a Muslim assemblyman in the belief that other positions would be shared fairly.
However, Karim had appointed his own men to all grassroot positions, ranging from community development leaders, village chiefs, pemaju mukim to district council members.
Tay alleged that Karim’s appointment of one Pangiran Ali as the village committee chairman in Kampung Mandangin, a KDM-dominated area, had angered the communities there.
He claimed that he was outnumbered 10-1 when he brought up the issue. “It was a total monopoly by Karim’s men,” he told a crowd of around 200 Barisan Nasional supporters in Membakut.
Tay also spoke at a meet-the-people session at Kampung Gapo, Takapan, held by former Kimanis MP and former foreign minister Anifah Aman.
Non-Muslim bumiputera votes account for 41% of the 29,644 voters in the Kimanis constituency.
Tay said the KDM communities were looked after when Anifah, then with Barisan Nasional, was elected as Kimanis MP in 2004.
“With Anifah’s help, many KDM areas as far as near Keningau were provided with electricity, and a 20,000 gallon storage system replaced a gravity-feed water supply.
Tay said Kimanis voters would be better off with one-term Bongawan assemblyman Mohamad Alamin who had been trained by Anifah to be the MP.
He said that after Warisan took power in the state government, all the district council members had been changed to suit those in power.