BEAUFORT: The Barisan Nasional victory in Kimanis is due to the solid cooperation among the Opposition parties in Sabah, says Parti Bersatu Sabah.
PBS president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili (pic) said voters made a bold decision to follow their hearts and choose Barisan Nasional's Datuk Mohamad Alamin as their MP.
"The victory is not only convincing but also sweet, given that the Pakatan Harapan-Warisan government applied all tactics and pressure, including threats and the giving of goodies, as well as manipulating stories and (levelling) countless accusations against the opposition," he said.
Ongkili said the victory also showed that voters in Sabah could be taken for granted or "bought" with cash, goodies or promises.
"We salute the Kimanis voters for their wisdom, bravery and single-mindedness," said Ongkili, whose party left Barisan shortly after the 14th General Election in 2018.
PBS, Sabah STAR and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah came out in support of Barisan and stayed out of the election.
"This is a big blow and an eye-opener to the Warisan government. We hope they realise that they are losing the Sabah grassroots because of their broken promises and harmful policies," he said.
Ongkili said the implementation of the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) was one of these policies and added that the voters had spoken on the issue.
"Thank you, Kimanis voters for speaking and deciding on behalf of all Sabahans. This is the beginning of the move to return Sabah to the right path," said Ongkili.
Umno's Mohamad won the Kimanis parliamentary seat with a majority of 2,029 votes, securing 12,706 votes against Parti Warisan Sabah’s Datuk Karim Bujang’s 10,677.
Former foreign minister Datuk Anifah Aman held the seat for Barisan from 2004. He retained the seat yet again in GE14 by a slim margin of just 156 votes.
In 2018, he polled 11,942 votes against Karim’s 11,786 votes while Jaafar Ismail of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah obtained just 1,300 votes.
However, Anifah left Umno to become an independent after Barisan lost power with Pakatan forging a new administration in Putrajaya for the first time in the nation's history.
His hold on the seat was to prove tenuous.
Warisan's Karim, a former Umno member and the Bogawan state assemblyman for five terms, filed an election petition with the Election Court challenging the result.
The court ruled in Karim's favour and nullified Anifah's win.
The by-election was then triggered when the Federal Court on Dec 2 upheld the Election Court’s ruling on Karim's petition.
Kimanis is the 10th by-election since GE14 and the fifth parliamentary seat to be contested, following Port Dickson, Cameron Highlands, Sandakan and Tanjung Piai.
The five state seats were Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia, Balakong, Semenyih and Rantau.
Before the latest contest, only two out the nine seats were not successfully retained by the incumbent in by-elections post-GE14: Semenyih, which switched to Barisan, and Tanjung Piai, which Barisan wrestled from Pakatan with a huge 15,086-vote majority.