KUCHING, Jan 27: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah views Barisan Nasional’s (BN) victory in the Cameron Highlands by-election as a good sign for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in facing the next state election.
This was especially so when BN won with a six-fold majority as compared to its majority during 14th General Election(GE14).
“The majority was six fold of what had been won by BN in PRU (GE14). A good signal for GPS in facing the next PRN (Sarawak election),” said Abdul Karim in a press statement today.
He analysed that there were many reasons why voters gave their support to BN in Cameron Highland despite the win by Pakatan Harapan in GE14.
“Personally, I think the voters can see that what PH has promised before the last GE was just empty promises.
“PH had promised many changes if they managed to win in their manifesto and within 100 days after winning the election.
“Those has become empty promises and capitalised to the fullest by BN,” he said.
He cited the choice of candidate as another “glaring reason” for winning the by-election yesterday.
Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Ramli Mohd Nor won the by-election with a majority of 3,238 votes against PH’s candidate M. Manogaran. He, thus, became the country’s first Orang Asli to become an MP.
Ramli garnered 12,038 votes, Manogaran 8,800, independent candidates Sallehudin Ab Talib polled 314 votes and Wong Sent Yee 276 votes. Sallehudin and Wong lost their deposits.
The by-election was called following the Election Commission (EC) nullifying BN’s victory in Cameron Highlands due to corrupt practices of luring voters.
Abdul Karim said the Cameron Highlands seat had been known to be one having many Orang Asli.
“All these years, that seat has been contested by Indians, whether from BN or opposition then. BN made a drastic move by putting an Orang Asli candidate, and it went down very well with the Orang Asli voters.
“PH, however, is still in the old mode and placed a candidate of Indian ethnicity, and they have to pay the price for it,” said Abdul Karim.
He held that the decision to put forth an Orang Asli candidate was a good sign for future elections, whether in Sarawak, Malaya or Sabah.
“BN made a good move by placing the candidate as BN direct candidate. Not a candidate from MIC, Umno, PPP or others.
“Choice of the candidate is very important. One just cannot claim a seat just because its the party’s quota and later place a candidate of that party leader’s choice.
“An in-depth study needed to be done on the winnability of that candidate — the background, ethnicity and character etc,” said Abdul Karim.— DayakDaily