PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) made the right decision in allowing Parti Warisan Sabah to contest the Kimanis by-election but it is equally important that Datuk Karim Bujang be given a second chance at the constituency, according to a political analyst yesterday.
Mohd Rahezzal Shah Abdul Karim said it would be surprising if Sabah’s ruling party was to overlook Karim, who lost the seat by a whisker in the last general election (GE).
“Warisan is established there, and has shown in the last GE that they can give a good fight,” the UITM Sabah lecturer told theSun.
“But as far as candidates are concerned, I think Warisan will, and should, stick to Karim.
“I can’t think of anyone who is a better candidate.
“I don’t think Warisan and PH has anyone else who is as popular as Karim.”
Mohd Rahezzal also pointed out that Karim has shown in the last GE that he was no pushover, despite facing then foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
Anifah held on to his seat by a majority of 156 votes over Karim, the closest BN came to facing a defeat in the constituency.
He has since left Umno and is an independent in Parliament.
However, his victory was nullified by the Election Court and subsequently upheld by the Federal Court, triggering the by-election.
Asked on Warisan and Karim’s prospects in Kimanis should Anifah also decide to contest, Rahezzal said he believes the former would have the upper hand this time.
“Even if Anifah contests, (it) is likely under a local party banner.
“There is every chance that Umno will also put its candidate.
“I will say of course the advantage will go to Warisan, but it won’t be an easy ride.
“A lot of people are using the Tanjung Piai by-election (which PH lost by a huge majority) as an indicator, but it’s completely different in Kimanis.”
The Election Commission will hold a special meeting on Monday to discuss important dates for the Kimanis by-election.