FORMER Umno minister Anifah Aman will return to Kimanis to confer with supporters on the Federal Court’s decision to uphold the decision to call for fresh polls in the Sabah parliamentary seat.
“Though I have won on the allegations against me and was awarded costs of RM105,000, I have to file today’s appeal to defend the decision of the voters in Kimanis,” he said in a statement today.
“I will go back to Kimanis and discuss with my supporters on my next course of action.”
Anifah’s win in last year’s general election was contested by Parti Warisan Sabah’s candidate Karim Bujang, who alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in the election.
In August this year, the election court had declared Anifah’s win null and void but dismissed the allegations of bribery and corruption.
The Federal Court’s five-member bench today, led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, held that the election court judge had not erred in the decision.
“I am saddened by the decision of the Federal Court… even though I am not surprised,” Anifah said in his statement today.
“I was in court this morning and was shocked to see that three members of the panel that had previously allowed Karim Bujang’s appeal on November 18, 2018 are also adjudicating my appeal.”
Anifah said he had applied for the three judges to recuse themselves as they have sat in the previous appeal and are “therefore not neutral.”
Anifah, formerly Barisan Nasional’s foreign minister, was a three-term MP for Kimanis. He is the brother of former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman
Last year, he won the seat with a slim margin of 156 votes over Karim.
Election court judge Lee Heng Cheong in August said the ballot boxes had shown signs of manipulation, that additional voting papers were detected and the returning officer at certain polling stations had failed to provide Form 13 that was used to verify the number of ballots counted.
Anifah quit Umno in September last year.
Warisan’s Karim Bujang says ready to recontest Kimanis by-election
KOTA KINABALU – 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.
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.
– Malay Mail