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'Anifah achieved more than his challengers'
Published on: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: A political analyst defended former Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman's slim victory in reclaiming the Kimanis Parliamentary seat.

Abdul Jalil Abdul Ghani said in a statement that the defeat of the Barisan Nasional was unexpected and put a stop to allegations that the election process in Malaysia was not transparent and fair.

"Although it was hard to swallow for some, the people had made their choice.

The EC had carried out their responsibility to the best of their ability. The opposition at the time is now the government.

"But certain parties like in Kimanis still refuse to accept defeat and have been hurling baseless accusations not only at the EC but also the winning candidate. Their excuse is that it was a slim victory," he said in a statement.

In the three-cornered contest, Anifah won by a 156 majority against Datuk Karim Bujang of Parti Warisan Sabah.

But the result has been challenged by Parti Warisan Sabah. On Monday, the party filed election petitions to challenge the results of the 14th general election (GE14) in eight constituencies in Sabah, including Kimanis.

Party secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr was quoted as saying that the grounds were mostly money politics, postal votes and the delay in signing Form 14 to declare the winners of the election.

But Abdul Jalil insisted that Anifah won even though with a very slim majority.

"Whether or not it was slim victory, the people had voted and that's the reality," he said.

He believed that the people still voted for the incumbent based on his performance as their representative in Parliament and the development he had fought for as well as being the voice of Sabahans and Malaysians on the world stage.

"Anifah succeeded in bringing all kinds of development and opportunities to the people in Kimanis.

The candidate who challenged him in the 14th general election did not even bring anything, not even one gas station.

"The fact that his challenger lost in his own village proved that the people didn't look at the party a candidate represents but the candidate," said Abdul Jalil.

He also said Anifah's leadership qualities should never be doubted for in many occasions he was willing to go against the flow for the sake of Sabahans' interest. One of the instances he said is the fact that Anifah had been vocal when defending Sabahan's rights which are enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

"At the time, who dared to speak up? But he did, at both state and federal levels.

He even set aside the political thinking at that time and succeeded in bring together leaders from both the political divide. This resulted in the Federal Government agreeing to start the process to return Sabahans' rights not only in the MA63 but also in our Constitution," he said.

He also noted Anifah's role on the world stage, particularly in leading Malaysia to create history in the United Nations Security Council by getting its recommendations approved with regards to Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine in 2016.

Abdul Jalil claimed that what Anifah had accomplished through the Malaysian Foreign Ministry was the first by any other Foreign Minister from other countries.

He said on this basis, there was a big difference between him and his challengers during the general election.

"So, the issue about majority does not arise even though his victory was slim.

And in fact, many other election candidates like him have won with a slim majority.

It does not mean that they cheated. A slim majority may only reflect a conflict among voters whether or not to vote based on party or candidate," Abdul Jalil argued.

He further argued that if the accusations about cheating were true, Pakatan Harapan would not be the government it is today.

He said instead of being sour grapes over the election results, his accusers should focus on the task at hand that is to develop the state and fight for the wellbeing of the people.

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