BEAUFORT: Barisan Nasional has defeated Warisan by a clear 2,029-vote majority in unofficial results of the Kimanis parliamentary by-election tonight.
At 8pm, BN’s Mohamad Alamin garnered 12,706 votes against 10,677 polled by Karim Bujang of Warisan, the ruling party in Sabah, with all 70 ballot boxes counted.
The result is a blow to Warisan which had sought to wrest the seat from the BN, which has held the parliamentary area since 2004.
Former foreign minister and Umno strongman Anifah Amin was re-elected in the 2018 general election but was unseated by a court decision which held that there had been irregularities. The election petition was filed by Karim.
In 2018, Anifah had narrowly won the seat by a 156-vote majority over Karim, who polled 11,786 votes. A third candidate, Jaafar Ismail, of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, had 1,300 votes.
Tonight’s Barisan Nasional victory had been predicted by the Strategic Analysis and Policy Research Institute (Insap).
On Friday, the organisation’s deputy chairman Pamela Yong said an Insap survey had shown stronger support for BN among the Bumiputera population.
“The support rate for BN was 43.4% while Warisan’s support was 39.4% from among the Muslim Bumiputeras.” Among non-Muslim Bumiputeras, the BN support rate was 42% while support for Warisan was 44.4%.
She said about 17.2% of the Muslims and 13.7% of non-Muslim voters in Kimanis were undecided, and could swing the election.
Yong predicted a swing of votes from the KadazanDusunMurut community towards BN, and noted that Warisan, the ruling party, had only moved into KDM areas later in the campaign.
The Insap survey also found that neither the Warisan nor BN candidate could match the approval rating of Anifah Aman, who scored 49% for his performance as MP. “Anifah’s good standing with the Kimanis voters has managed to give BN its lead,” she said.
BN victory shows people fed up of PH and Warisan, says Ka Siong
MCA president Wee Ka Siong was the first BN leader to celebrate.
In a statement in Kuala Lumpur, he congratulated Mohamad Alamin for securing a victory for BN with a bigger majority than in 2018.
He noted that today’s by-election victory was the fifth straight success for BN since the 2018 general election. It showed that the people were fed up and unhappy with the Pakatan Harapan federal government and the Warisan state government in Sabah, he said.
The previous BN victories were in Semenyih, Rantau, Cameron Highlands and Tanjung Piai.