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 Local

Police: No details until Pensiangan poll probe is completed

4th June, 2018

By MICHAEL TEH

KOTA KINABALU: The Keningau District Police would issue an official statement concerning its ongoing investigation on the alleged election offence in the Pensiangan constituency.

The case involves the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Pensiangan parliamentary Constituency during the 14th general Election (GE14) last May 9.

Keningau Police Chief DSP Ahmad B. Jawila told the New Sabah Times that the details will be revealed when the investigation is completed.

“Since the investigation is still ongoing, it won’t be proper for me to say much on the case. But, in general, we did seize some money and recorded statement from the witnesses,” he said.

The ongoing investigation was following a police report lodged by Rafain B. Ahuar, the brother of the losing Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate for Pensiangan, Raymond Ahuar, on 11 May, on alleged election offence committed by BN during the election.

BN’s Arthur Joseph Kurup, representing Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) won the seat.

There were also police reports lodged by some witnesses who claimed that they were approached by individuals identifying themselves as representatives of BN, on the eve of the election, and were handed brown envelopes containing cash money ranging from RM100 to RM150, as an inducement for them to vote for the BN candidate.

The case was being investigated under Section 10 (a) of the Election Offence Act 1954. The outcome of the investigation could have a bearing on whether an election petition would be allowed.

Raymond disclosed last Thursday that PKR will be filing a petition with the Election Commission (EC) to nullify Arthur’s victory.

“If everything goes smoothly as planned, we hope to file the petition by next week. Under the law, we have to file the petition within 21 days of the gazetting of the election results; the election results were gazetted on 28 May, 2018.”

The PKR Sabah youth chief recently told the New Sabah Times that he was confident of a by-election in Pensiangan, citing mounting evidences of alleged election offence committed by BN during the election.

In the five-corner contest during the GE14, Raymond who polled 9,469 votes lost to BN candidate Arthur Joseph Kurup who garnered 11,783 votes. Arthur is the son of PBRS president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup. The other candidates were, Richard Joe Jimmy from STAR (2,839 votes), Maidin B. Atak Maidin Hj Osman, Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) who received 212 votes, and independent candidate Engah B. Sintan Dahlan B. Abdullah, with 65 votes.

Raymond had lamented that had not for the split votes caused by the other candidates, the one from STAR especially, coupled with the inducement by the BN, he would have won.

“As this time the people of Pensiangan really wanted to see change for a better future for Pensiangan,” he said. The 33-year-old sub-contractor claimed that in his 20 years’ reign, as two-term MP from 2008 to 2018, and as two term State assemblyman for Sook, first time in 1985 and second time in 2004, Kurup had failed to develop Pensiangan and uplift the standard of living of Pensiangan folks.

“Until today, Pensiangan remains the poorest district in Sabah with bad infrastructures, no ‘balai Bomba’ (Fire and Rescue Department), and there was supposed to be a hospital built, as promised by the BN government, that ended up only a clinic was built, and there were also very few shops and there’s no hotel,” he pointed out.

Raymond thus hoped that a by-election would take place in Pensiangan, so that it would not only serve as a good lesson and a deterrent for others to shun and to refrain from corrupt practice in future, but also to bring to the attention of the Federal leaders on the serious need of economic development in the constituency.

“I already have plans in my mind and if I win the by-election, I will know exactly how to turn things around for the betterment of my community in Pensiangan.

“First and foremost, I will strive to instill in them the importance of unity and a shift of mindset to focus on economic development, instead of continuing to be divided and manipulated by politicians with selfish agendas,” he said.

   
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