KOTA KINABALU, Nov 19 — With some 11 seats shuffling ownership in Sabah, the state ruling alliance Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and Barisan Nasional is leading the charge in the 15th general election (GE15) with six and seven seats each.
There were some surprises and upsets in the shuffle which also saw Pakatan Harapan reduce from six to five seats and Warisan reduce from six to three seats based on the unofficial count at midnight.
Fledgling Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (PKDM) won the Kota Marudu MP seat, with Datuk Wetrom Bahanda unseating six-term MP and Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili.
Amidst controversy, Perikatan Nasional’s Datuk Ronald Kiandee also retained his seat, despite going against Umno’s Benedict Asmat.
Two independents — Wetrom’s brother Verdon Bahanda and Riduan Rubin won the Kudat and Tenom seats respectively.
The Opposition’s loss of ground from 12 to seven seats was mostly due to split votes between PH and Warisan, who clashed in many seats, including Tawau, Keningau, Batu Sapi, Kimanis and Kalabakan, giving their opponent the advantage.
The election also saw the biggest loser being the local party Warisan, who went from seven seats to three, losing the Penampang, Sepanggar, Kalabakan and Papar seats but gained Lahad Datu.
PH retained Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tuaran seat, and also won the Penampang and Sepanggar, both from Warisan.
The count was still ongoing as of midnight as the GRS camp in Seri Gaya remained anxious but upbeat.
GRS has won the Ranau, Tawau, Batu Sapi, Keningau, Papar and Sipitang seat while BN won the Beaufort, Kalabakan, Kinabatangan, Libaran, Kimanis, Pensiangan and Putatan seat.