KIMANIS, Jan 18 — Datuk Bung Moktar Radin today said Barisan Nasional (BN) and Sabah Umno’s win in the Kimanis by-election is a sign that the party is regaining people’s trust after a mass exodus of its leaders more than a year ago.
The Sabah Umno chairman said today’s victory was a meaningful one for the party because they managed to gather support from Kimanis voters across all ethnicities.
“I am confident that Umno Sabah will get past its mistakes and be able to move forward. We will work with local parties and be prepared to come back strong in the next general election,” he said.
Bung said the BN coalition got support from all its component parties and have formed a solid opposition bloc that was able to take down the government of the day in the by-election.
“The people have made is clear. They are suffering under Pakatan Harapan and Warisan government who have failed them,” he said when speaking to reporters after the official announcement of results at the Datuk Seri Panglima Mohamad Dun Banir hall in Beaufort today.
Bung said BN earned a resounding win by winning 62 out of 70 streams in the 19 polling districts.
“This means all races, Chinese, Kadazan, Sungai, Bajau, all of them supported us,” he said.
BN and Umno has held the Kimanis seat since it was recreated again in 2004.
Former Umno leader Datuk Anifah Aman held the seat since 2004 and remained undefeated in all four terms until the Election court declared his victory null and void last year.
The win also means Sabah Umno now has two Members of Parliaments. Bung was the sole remaining MP left after a mass exodus in December of 2018.
Meanwhile, newly elected Kimanis candidate Datuk Mohamad Alamin attributed the win to the hard work of the party leadership and its tireless machinery which brought the campaign’s message to the grassroots.
He said that his victory proved that the people of Sabah thoroughly rejects the Sabah Temporary Pass.
He was accompanied by Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, deputy Datuk Mohamad Hasan, Sabah Umno chief Datuk Bung Moktar Radin, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman, among others, during the official announcement by the election commission earlier.
Earlier, Bung and Tuaran Umno chief Datuk Abdul Rahman were seen getting emotional, crying and hugging in the Umno by-election war room when the results were apparent.
Abdul Rahman said that Sabah Umno was the underdog going into the by-election and came out with the victory despite going through a mass exodus more than a year ago.