KUALA LUMPUR:Only three of the 56 independent candidates in the 16th Sabah state election secured victory, albeit a slim majority in the Kuamut, Pitas and Kemabong seats.

Datuk Masiung Banah retained his seat in Kuamut with 2,802 votes (majority of 978 votes) defeating the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Juhari Janan (1,547 votes); Benson Inggam of UPKO (1,824 votes); Parti Cinta Sabah’s Mohd Mezsi Ng Abdullah (721 votes) and Dr Ationg Tituh from Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah (270 votes).

Masiung retained the seat that he won under the BN ticket with a vote majority of 4,121.

While in Pitas, Independent Ruddy Awah triumphed over his challengers, obtaining 2,918 votes with a majority of 599 votes.

He was closely challenged by BN’s Sufian Abd Karim (2,359 votes); Shariff Azman of Warisan

(1,565 votes); Sh Sahar Sh Ading of PCS (314) and USNO’s candidate Ilasam Nurkasim (114).

Emerging the winner in a six-cornered fight for the Kemabong seat, Rubin Balang obtained 4,214 votes with a majority of 1,012 votes defeating UPKO’s Lucas Umbul (3,202 votes); BN’s Raime Unggi (2,966); LDP’s Juster Peter (268); Tay Jin Kiong @ Alfred of PCS (229) and Rainus Sagulau of USNO (73).

Meanwhile, eight Independents who managed to keep their deposits but lost in the race were Maklin Masiau, contesting the Bengkoka seat, Lasiah Baranting @ Anita (Tandek); Datuk Musbah Jamli (Tempasuk), Kenny Chua Teck Ho (Inanam); Mohd Fadzlee Lee Abdullah @ Chun Lee (Kuala Penyu); Datuk Jake Nointin (Liawan); Abdul Rahman Kongkawang (Labuk); Yunus Nurdin (Gum-Gum) and Saddi Abdul Rahman (Sukau).

Meanwhile, a total of 43 independent candidates not only lost the race but also their deposits for failing to secure more than one-eighth of the total votes counted in the polls last night.

They included local singer Jimmy Palikat contesting in the Tambunan seat, obtaining only 60 votes and Datu Amir Kahar Tun Datu Mustapha in Banggi with 261 votes.