Warisan candidate says ‘ready to contest’ by-election after winning Kimanis petition

Julia Chan
Datuk Karim Bujang (centre) with his lawyers Frederic Chang (2nd right), Syaiful Sufyyan Sidin (left) and Wilson Lai (right). — Picture by Julia Chan

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 16 — Parti Warisan Sabah election candidate Datuk Karim Bujang, who today won his election petition case to unseat Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, said he is ready to contest the parliamentary seat again in the likelihood of a by-election.

Karim, a former state deputy minister, came out of retirement last year to contest the seat on a Warisan ticket but lost by a slim 156 majority to Anifah during the May 9 polls.

“I am ever ready, if selected by the party to be the candidate,” he said when speaking to reporters at a hotel here after meeting his lawyers.

Karim said it was up to the party who it wanted to put up for the contest when the time comes.

Earlier today, the Election Court ruled that there was non-compliance to the Election Law on the part of the Election Commission and its returning officer in regards to the submission of its Form 13 and Form 14 which affected the results of the election.

Some five streams were compromised in that there were discrepancies or irregularities in Form 13 and 14.

The judge Lee Heng Chung declared a serious breach of the regulations and said that the results were void and candidate Anifah was not properly elected.

Karim took the election petition to court last June 2018 on three accusations — general bribery, corrupt practices and non-compliance of the law— naming Anifah, the returning officer and the EC as first, second and third respondents.

The court dismissed the other two, giving Anifah a clean pass, and ordered Karim to pay Anifah RM105,000 in costs, but also ordered the EC to pay Karim RM100,000 in costs.

Karim said he was pleased that the court had heard the case and believed in the facts and supporting evidence of his petition.

“I believe in the rule of law. When I saw reports post-election from the party, we initiated court action.

“The EC still has a chance to appeal but I’m glad the court had hear the case so far, the one-and-a-half years of hard work by my lawyers has paid off,” he said.

Karim was represented by lawyers Frederic Chang, Wilson Lai Wai Shing and Syaiful Sufyyan Sidin.

Anifah’s lawyer Tengku Fuad Ahmad said that he had received instructions to appeal to the Federal Court.

When asked what his plans were while awaiting the results of the appeal, Karim said that he would go back to the ground and talk to party supporters and members on the latest developments and to prepare them for a possible by-election.

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