KOTA KINABALU, Dec 5 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal today said that while the candidate for the Kimanis by-election is almost certain to be from Warisan, he has not quite decided on who to field yet.
“We haven’t decided on who, when the time comes then we will spell it out. What is important is that the candidate must be palatable, likable to voters on the ground and also can perform, that’s important for us,” he said when asked about the likelihood of former deputy minister Datuk Karim Bujang being the candidate again.
Shafie said it was too soon to decide who should contest and stressed that the focus should be for party members and supporters on the ground to reach out to as many voters as possible.
The Federal Court earlier this week upheld a decision by the Election court that there was non-compliance in the filling of several pertinent forms in the Kimanis by-election.
The decision effectively rendered the results of the by-election null and void.
During the 14th general election then Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman won the Kimanis Parliamentary seat with a narrow 156-vote majority. He obtained 11,942 votes in a three-corner fight against Warisan’s Karim (11,786 votes) and Party Harapan Rakyat Sabah’s candidate, Jaafar Ismail (1,300 votes).
Shafie reminded that this time around, Warisan cannot be complacent and expect an easy win.
“We cannot take it too lightly. We cannot be so proud and be sure that we will secure a win so we must reach out to the voters,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after his working trip from Japan, Shafie said Warisan has brought major investment to the nearby town of Kuala Penyu, in the form of East Malaysia’s first Club Med.
“The spillover is expected to be felt there too. The youths there will likely be able to benefit from it, as well as farmers, fishermen, and rest houses. It’s a big outfit, a huge investment from a globally known resort,” he said.
The Election Commission will have to announce the dates of the by-election within 60 days of receiving notice from the court.
It remains unclear whether Anifah, now an independent politician following his quitting from Umno last year will recontest, and if he does, whether he will align himself with a local party.
Sabah Umno has announced its intention to contest but has yet to name its candidate.
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