KOTA KINABALU September 1, 2012: The proposed formation of a new party by Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin shows that the former Umno man was not welcomed by the other camp, said a Sabah Umno leader.
Datuk Masidi Manjun, who described Lajim’s announcement as a surprise, said: “All the while, those in Barisan Nasional (BN) thought that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had welcomed him (Lajim) with open arms.
“If it was indeed with open arms, Lajim would not have ventured into forming a new party. However, he is now on his own, he is no longer in BN, so he can do whatever he wants,”
said the Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister when met after the state-level Independence Day 2012 parade yesterday.
Masidi said it was up to the people to interpret the probability of the opposition’s expectation of Lajim was perhaps on the hindside.
“But it serves as a reminder to all of us, whether in PR or BN, that the people are knowledgeable and well informed and it is certainly very difficult to fool the people.
“Sooner or later, they will realise and know which leaders and party to support. Of course flags and all are symbols of support of the day, but ultimately, it is on polling day that matters,” he said.
Sabah Umno Women information head Datuk Jainab Datuk Ahmad Ayid, on the other hand said that Lajim should have acted, corrected the wrongs and overcame the weaknesses he found in BN and Umno when he was still a member.
“If he thought he was supposed to have done something as the people’s representative, then he should have done it when he was still in the coalition. He was a deputy minister and a member of parliament, there were a lot of allocations and he should have focussed on developing his constituency,” she said.
The Karambunai assembywoman asserted that Lajim had left the coalition after having obtained the support from the voters under the BN ticket.
“It showed that the people wanted a BN candidate to represent them. And now, as the election looms near, he wants to set up a new party. I believe the people should make the assessment whether they need such a leader who is not committed to the actual struggle, which is to meet the people’s needs,” she said.
Jainab also called on the people to appreciate the struggles of the BN since it had not only brought about development but also peace and harmony.
“You should compare Malaysia to other countries facing unrest and ask yourself is BN that bad that you are willing to change the government?
“Those leaders who left the coalition are disappointed people and they form a new party to destroy the peace that we all enjoy. Of course we all want transformation, not reformation, to help improve the people’s livelihood,” she said.
“Take me as an example. I am an elected representative and a lawyer by profession. I could have just opted to be laidback and relax. I chose instead to work hard – not for my own personal gain but for the betterment of our future generation,” she said.
Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Jahid Jahim wished Lajim the best in his future undertakings.
“We live in a democratic country and we all have our own decisions to make. We have a good Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and he has shown us what he can do. He is a caring leader and I believe the people will continue to support and give him a chance to transform our country,” he said.
Lajim, the Beaufort member of parliament, was quoted as having announced that the application for his new party to be registered would be submitted to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) within the next few days.
“If approved by the ROS, we will be contesting under the new party,” said Lajim who formed Pakatan Angkatan Rakyat (PPS), adding that should the application be rejected, he and his supporters will fall back on their initial plan and contest on the ticket of a PR coalition member.
The former Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government however remained tight-lipped about the party, except to say that would be a new political party.
“We already have the party’s logo and the constitution drawn up … the line-up is also ready,” he said, adding that the party would represent the Muslim Bumiputera of Sabah.
by Sandra Sokial