Kimanis by-election campaign heats up

Party flags line the Membakut-Bengawan road January 5, 2020 ahead of the Kimanis by-election. — Bernama pic
Party flags line the Membakut-Bengawan road January 5, 2020 ahead of the Kimanis by-election. — Bernama pic

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KIMANIS, Jan 7 — The Kimanis parliamentary by-election campaign is heating up as it entered its fourth day today, with the “poster war” becoming more apparent.

A survey by Bernama found that the campaign atmosphere, which had been lukewarm since nominations last Saturday, has become livelier with rows of white and blue flags along the streets in Membakut and Bongawan here.

The campaign machinery of both contesting parties has also stepped up their pace, putting up party flags and posters and banners featuring the candidates since yesterday.

A campaign worker of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), Azman Jamily, 30, said the party has been putting up flags since nomination day, especially in strategic places such as bridges and other public areas.

“We started early because we wanted to get the most strategic locations... ahead of the Opposition,” he said when met by Bernama here today.

The by-election is a straight fight between Warisan’s Kimanis division chief Datuk Karim Bujang, 67, and BN’s Kimanis UMNO division chief Datuk Mohamad Alamin, 48.

Polling day is January 18 and early voting is on January 14.

Kimanis, which comprises the Bongawan and Membakut state constituencies, has 29,664 voters, including nine early voters and one absentee who is aboard.

The election fever has been fuelled by various programmes, including talks (ceramah) involving the candidates, aimed at winning over the voters’ hearts.

The contesting parties are making full use of the ceramah to explain their plans and agendas while countering attacks from the opposition.

Another Bernama check around Beaufort found that the by-election is a boon to food traders in the area.

A food trader, Amanina Azman, 19, said the demand for her grilled honey chicken wings and fried bananas has doubled over the past two days.

“There are many customers from outside... possibly involved with the by-election. I have changed my business hours by starting earlier and closing later than usual,” she said.

The Election Commission in a statement today said so far no election offences had been recorded by the election campaign enforcement officers.

Meanwhile, Beaufort district police chief DSP Azmir Abd Razak said police had received two reports on the by-election and opened one investigation paper under Section 10 of the Election Offences Act 1954.

He said police had issued 33 permits for the by-election campaign. — Bernama

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