KIMANIS, Jan 17 — The people of Kimanis should finish what they started in the last general election (GE14) by voting out the Umno candidate resoundingly, said PKR deputy president Datuk Azmin Ali.
He said that the people of Kimanis nearly voted out Umno and would have succeeded if not for the discrepancies that the courts agreed occurred.
“The people of Kimanis voiced their displeasure in GE14 by a glaringly reduced majority of 5,723 in the previous elections down to just 156 votes. That was also only because they had cheated — Kimanis should have long belonged to Warisan,” said Azmin.
Azmin said it was clear that the people had rejected Umno and its candidate, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, then and he was confident that they would do so again.
“People here have showed that they want Umno out once. Let’s show again that you stand by it,” he said when stumping for the Kimanis by election Warisan candidate, Datuk Karim Bujang.
The by-election was triggered when Karim won his election petition to declare discrepancies in the voting process during GE14.
In the May 8, 2018 general election, Anifah won the seat with a 156-vote majority, securing 11,942 votes against Karim, who got 11,786 votes and Pakatan Harapan’s Jaafar Ismail, who garnered 1,300 votes.
Azmin was addressing a modest crowd last night in Kampung Pimping, a Muslim majority area known to be an Umno stronghold as two thirds of its voters ate Umno members.
Just last Saturday, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had also campaigned in the area, to a bigger crowd in the village square.
Azmin said voters must choose between a party eager to fulfill the people’s aspirations as soon as possible, or a party whose leaders were currently facing court charges for various offences involving corruption.
“To me, it’s not hard to decide. If you want a party known for stealing, choose BN. Their leaders are now all in line to go to jail. Their former leader and their current leader, and also their senior leaders. This is what happens when the rot starts from the head,” he said.
Azmin said that with the billions of ringgit allegedly stolen during the Najib administration, he could have developed Sabah far beyond what it currently was.
He said that Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal in contrast, within five months of taking over government, had asked for funds to be allocated to 214 small development projects worth RM104 million.
“Those are just small projects. Not for himself, but for the people. 214 small projects, like roads, mosques, suraus, bridges so far 103 are completed; others in progress. This is your chief minister now. And if you vote Karim in, this is the government he will be working with,” he said.
Later, when speaking to the media, Azmin said that he was confident that Shafie’s policies and hard work in the short time since taking over would reflect in the polls.
“I think this is a crucial election. All the leaders from Sabah including Pakatan Harapan’s friends must set our priorities right and get our act together to support Warisan and ensure our candidate will win on a satisfactory margin,” he added.
The Kimanis constituency goes to polls on January 18.