KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno is confident of retaining Kimanis mainly due to the people’s sentiments that the current government has not performed up to expectations.
Its chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said the party has already shortlisted several names to contest the parliamentary seat.
"We are ready to give a fight to retain the seat.
"Sabah’s coalition government, comprising Parti Warisan Sabah and Pakatan Harapan (DAP, PKR and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Sabah), and Upko have not performed up to expectations since the last general election," he said.
The Kinabatangan MP said there were strong sentiments that the present government did not look after the economy and develop rural areas.
“That is why I am confident Umno and Barisan Nasional will be able to defend Kimanis and emulate the recent Tanjung Piai landslide win,” he said.
On Monday (Dec 2), the Federal Court upheld the Election Court’s decision to declare Kimanis, held by its incumbent MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, as null and void.
A five-member bench, led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, said there was no error by the election judge in the finding of facts.
Anifah quit Umno in September last year and held the seat as an independent.
Bung said they would meet up with all Opposition parties in the state to work together for the coming by-election.
He said Sabah Umno had already decided to defend its stronghold even before the Federal Court delivered its verdict.
"We will announce the name of our candidate once the Election Commission announces the by-election date," he said.
In GE14, Anifah won by a slim 156-vote majority in a three-cornered contest.
He garnered 11,942 votes, Datuk Karim Bujang of Parti Warisan Sabah obtained 11,786 votes while Jaafar Ismail from Parti Harapan Rakyat got 1,300 votes.
The Kimanis decision is the last of nine election petitions, filed by Warisan and its partner PKR, following GE14.
The Election Court had struck out all the petitions, mainly centred on alleged vote-buying.
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