KOTA KINABALU, Dec 2 — Datuk Karim Bujang, who today had his election petition case upheld in his favour, said he would be ready to contest for Parti Warisan Sabah again in the upcoming Kimanis by-election.
The former assistant minister, who has been laying low after being dropped from Barisan Nasional’s line up for the 2013 election, said today’s court decision vindicated his belief in the rule of law and that he was ready to contest for the party if chosen.
“Whether I contest or not, that lies with the party. I leave my political future to the party. I’m not really hoping, but if they feel that they want me to contest, I will not object. It’s a party decision,” said Karim, who is Parti Warisan Sabah’s Kimanis division chief.
Karim said he and the party are ready for the by election and said the sentiment on the ground is in Warisan’s favour.
“I see some positive signs, you cannot compare Kimanis with Tanjung Piai — it is a different ball game. Kimanis shouldn’t be same. But I am a strong believer in the democratic process-and I leave it to voters to see what they want,” he said.
Earlier today, the Federal Court today upheld the decision of the election court that there were discrepancies in the number of registered voters and non-compliance of election laws in the Kimanis parliamentary constituency results, declaring it null and void. In doing so, it officially paved the way for a by-election in the federal constituency.
Karim took the election petition to court last June 2018 on three accusations — general bribery, corrupt practices and non-compliance of the law — naming former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, the returning officer and the EC as first, second and third respondents.
The court cleared Anifah of the allegations but ruled non-compliance on the part of the Election Commission.
Karim, a former state deputy minister, came out of retirement last year to contest the seat on a Warisan ticket but lost by a narrow 156 vote margin to Anifah during the May 9 polls.
Meanwhile, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Sabah chairman Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor said that as a Pakatan Harapan coalition party, it will agree to ensure that only one candidate is placed for the by-election.
Declining to comment on whether PPBM would want the candidate to come from PPBM, Hajiji said it would be left to the leadership to decide.
“We will negotiate within Pakatan and (its partner) Warisan. Whatever the decision will be made by leadership, we will support.
“We have a few parties, whatever agreed by Warisan and component parties. We are one camp. Thats it. We support whoever the candidate, Pakatan or Warisan,” he said.