MEMBAKUT: With four more days to polling day, Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) and Barisan Nasional (BN) are stepping on the gas to win over fence-sitters in the Kimanis parliamentary by-election.
At the moment, the race between Warisan’s Datuk Karim Bujang and BN’s Datuk Mohamad Alamin appears to be neck and neck with voters already making up their minds and throwing support behind their respective choices for potential Kimanis parliamentarian.
Some, however, are still undecided even with the Jan 18 poll nearing.
With campaign supporters seen switching sides, it is getting increasingly difficult to predict who will take what has traditionally been BN’s seat.
Hardy Abdullah, 45, from Kampung Gadong Kimanis, said one of his main concerns is the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS), noting it had created fear and worry among locals.
“If this is not properly implemented, I’m afraid it will change the Sabah demographic in years to come and we will lose our identity.
“Can the government guarantee that this pass is only temporary and that it will control illegal immigrants from crowding into Sabah?
“I read that a similar pass (Sabah Resident Pass) was proposed by the previous administration.
“The BN leaders might have thought of these (adverse) circumstances and that may be why it was never announced.”
Hardy, however, said if they were to choose BN in the by-election, the party could not do anything in terms of bringing in basic infrastructure development into the constituency.
“Choosing the opposition was only meant to send a message to the government. If the people choose Warisan, more allocations can come in until the next election then ‘ubah balik’... I’m still undecided,” he said.
Jeffri Lai, 68, from Kampung Sinuko, said he had attended talks held by both Warisan and BN, noting that each party presented strong points as to why the constituents should vote for their candidate.
“To be honest, I voted for Warisan in the previous election because of the ‘ubah’ movement. But, I have yet to see something that can wow me with their performance,” he said.
Beaufort Sino Kadazandusun Murut Association chairman Datuk Teo Chin Ping said both Warisan and BN have their respective strengths and weaknesses.
He said the outcome of the Kimanis by-election would depend on how both political parties advocate their points in campaigning for votes, especially from the Chinese and Kadazandusun Murut community.
“Among the Malay-Brunei votes, it is already 50-50. Anyone who captures the Kadazandusun Murut and Chinese votes will win,” he said.