SETBACK..... Even as Chief Minister Musa Aman described the lose of 11 state seats as a 'setback', speculations are rife that 'close' call wins may result in crossovers.
By : FMT STAFF
KOTA KINABALU: Voters in Sabah showed they are far from satisfied with the Barisan Nasional government at both state and national level in the 13th general election.
The convincing victories by candidates representing national opposition parties over both the BN and local opposition parties like the State Reform Party (STAR) and SAPP showed that voters in Sabah have transcended the parochialism that was hitherto the mainstay of state politics.
However, voters in Keningau were out of sync with the wave of discontent felt by the non-Muslim Bumiputeras in Sabah when voters there stuck with the status quo and returned Joseph Pairin Kitingan in the interior parliamentary constituency as well as in the state seat of Tambunan.
SAPP, the party of former chief minister Yong Teck Lee, was wiped out while STAR’s Jeffrey Kitingan only managed to bag the Bingkor state seat for himself.
In Keningau, Jeffrey lost the three-cornered fight with his brother and a PKR candidate.
Pairin polled 15,818 votes against Jeffrey’s 11,900 and PKR’s 7,825 votes. If looked at collectively, votes garnered by Jeffrey and PKR overtook Pairin’s.
Meanwhile the major inroads made by the Pakatan pact in BN’s fixed deposit state at both parliamentary and state levels have dealt a severe blow to the ego of the ruling coalition, especially Chief Minister Musa Aman whose credibility has now been damaged.
Initial reports had it that the parliamentary constituencies of Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tuaran, Pensiangan and Penampang had been won by Pakatan Rakyat.
The main casualties being Upko president Bernard Dompok, LDP’s VK Liew and PBRS leader Joseph Kurup.
Similarly it was unofficially reported that Lajim Ukin and Wilfred Bumburing had retained their Beaufort and Tuaran seats.
Setback for Musa
But “long deep lulls” between counting and the announcement of the official results eventually saw incumbent MP Lajim losing his seat to Beaufort to BN’s Azizah Mohd Dun by 673 votes. Bumburing also lost his seat while BN minister Kurup retaining his.
Allegations of election fraud lent credence by the sluggishness in announcing the election results in the state.
The inexplicable delay in tallying the votes gave the impression of probable fiddling with constituencies that favoured the opposition.
Either that or the Election Commission was openly displaying its incompetence.
At the close of polls yesterday, the opposition took away 12 state seats; namely Klias, Tamparulli, Moyog, Sri Tanjung, Kepayan, Luyang, Likas, Api-Api and Inanam, Kadamaian, Matunggong and Bingkor.
STAR’s lone assemblyman Jeffrey wrested the Bingkor state seat.
Sabah BN retained 48 of its 60 seats, giving it a two-third majority but it’s a sham victory for Musa and his cohorts who’ve wielded absolute power in the State Legislative Assembly.
Speaking to media here late last night, Musa’s less than enthusiastic description of the victory as “good” was telling.
Playing down the inroads the opposition had made and the many constituencies with “close call wins and its failure to retain Sandakan and Penampang and seize Kota Kinabalu, Musa said: “It’s a setback but we accept the people’s decision. We will ensure better delivery.”