KIMANIS: Barisan Nasional’s Mohamad Alamin will emerge as the winner against Warisan’s Karim Bujang in the Kimanis by-election, according to a think-tank.
Strategic Analysis and Policy Research Institute (Insap) deputy chairman Pamela Yong said their survey indicated Mohamad had the bigger support from the Muslim and non-Muslim Bumiputeras.
“The support rate for BN was 43.4% while Warisan’s support was 39.4% from among the Muslim Bumiputeras.”
Among Non-Muslim Bumiputeras (BBI), the support rate for BN was 42% while support for Warisan was 44.4%.
About 17.2% of the Muslims and 13.7% of the non-Muslims were fence-sitters, she said in a statement today.
The study was based on a face-to-face survey carried out by Insap between Jan 3 and Jan 15. It involved 609 respondents.
Yong said the fence-sitters could very well decide the by-election tomorrow.
“Given a 5% margin of error, this means the P176 Kimanis polls could tilt either way, especially given that there are about 2,500 voters who are still undecided,” she said.
Still, Yong predicted a swing of the KadazanDusunMurut (KDM) votes to support BN, having noted that the coalition had only moved into the KDM areas later in the second week of the campaign.
She noted that Umno, with its peninsular Malaysian big guns on the ground, could only engage with voters when Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku joined in the campaigning.
Yong also noted the tactics used by Warisan and Upko. Their focus was on splitting the non-Muslim Bumiputeras and Chinese votes, as opposed to using the original strategy of using the “Sabah for Sabahan” move.
Insap’s survey indicated that there are four issues that trouble Kimanis voters. Economic development and job opportunities each drew the attention of 33% of those surveyed. Issues related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) were important to 17% while the Temporary Sabah Pass (PSS) for immigrants was of concern to many as well.
Yong said it was understandable why Kimanis voters were hoping for greater economic development and jobs.
During the Insap interviews, shop owners lamented that business had worsened significantly since Warisan took over the state government and the by-election was a god-send for business.
Youths here, with the average education level of SPM (pre-college), lamented the lack of jobs as well as low pay, stressing that shop assistants were not even paid the minimum wage. Some shopkeepers were not even hiring because business is bad,” she said.
Yong also noted that both Warisan and BN had accused each other of unethical campaigning.
For instance, Warisan noted the spreading of “untruths” about PSS, especially BN’s key message that “A Vote for Warisan = A Vote for PTI”. PTI is a short form for illegal immigrants.
BN complained of the use of government facilities in campaigning, in particular the organisation of Christmas and New Year celebrations with food, drinks and lucky draws.
There were also reports of discreet distribution of grass-cutters, chain saws and farming equipment to the Kadazandusun and Muruts, and reports of RM300 cash being given for outstation voters to return to vote, she said.
The Insap survey also found that neither the Warisan nor BN candidate could match the approval rating for former MP Anifah Aman, who scored 49% for his performance as MP.
She said 43% think “Tok Moh” will make a good MP compared with Karim, who scored 41%.
“Anifah’s good standing with the Kimanis voters has managed to give BN its lead. Anifah has been at the forefront of the BN campaign trail,” she said.
She said Insap also found Kimanis voters favoured BN for doing a better job in governing Sabah, with the approval rating of 50% BN vs 36% for Warisan.