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Lajim’s falling out with Umno sets Beaufort adrift

 | June 19, 2012

Sabah DAP has opened its door to Beaufort MP, Lajim Ukin, who's rumoured to have been 'dropped' by Umno.

KOTA KINABALU: An acrimonious battle for power and influence in Sabah Umno has opened the door to the opposition to grab a “fixed deposit” Barisan Nasional seat in the state.

Parties within the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition are lining up with open arms to welcome powerful Beaufort MP, Lajim Ukin, who is facing pressure within his party to voluntarily step aside in favour of those aligned to Chief Minister Musa Aman.

The latest to welcome the embattled Sabah Umno leader is DAP which invited him to continue his fight for progress and development of his constituency through the opposition after government funds to him were controversially stopped.

“I sincerely invite Lajim to join DAP. Our door is open for him or he can also join other Pakatan parties especially PKR… ” said DAP Tanjung Aru new chief, David Chong Ket Sui.

Perhaps Lajim could set up the Beaufort DAP division to continue his struggle for the people there, said Chong commenting on the report that Lajim had relinquished his post as the chief of the Kerambai Kebatu Umno branch.

Lajim, who is also Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister, had also recently announced that he would not be defending the Umno Beaufort chief post and instead handed it over to his deputy Isnin Aliasnih.

“Since he has announced that he has resigned from his party post at the divisional level, then I invite him to join us in DAP,” Chong said in his first political after leaving Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) last year.

Lajim ‘dropped’ in 2008

Chong formerly headed SAPP Api Api constituency liaison committee (division), but decided to leave after he was not re-appointed and given the post as an “adviser” to the division.

“He [Lajim] is making a very wise decision since support for the Barisan Nasional and Umno is waning,” he said.

Chong claimed that 15 strong Umno leaders from Sabah had their names thrown out from the potential candidates’ list for the coming 13th general election.

“They include Lajim. But this is not a surprise because even in the last general election in 2008 his name was also not in the list. However, his name was reinstated after he met with Najib Tun Razak who was then the Deputy Prime Minister.

“I know because I was with him at that time,” said Chong, who is also a former SAPP supreme council member.

He said Lajim had stated he still wants to fight for developments for the people in his constituency.

“From what I understand, Sabah has been allocated billions of ringgit to implement development projects, but where has the money gone to?”

‘Strong’ support for Lajim

Chong said there would be more chances for Lajim to fight for development for his people through the opposition.

“In fact, once Pakatan forms the government there is no need to fight because many development programmes have already been lined up for Sabah unlike now where you fight but in the end get nothing,” he said.

Lajim, an Umno supreme council member, on Sunday lashed out at “certain quarters” for trying to force him to step down and leave the party as well as the BN.

“Who are they? If I have breached party discipline, the government can take action to sack me.

“It is not them who will determine my future, it is the people in my constituency,” he was quoted in the local media as telling some 5,000 supporters who attended his 57th birthday celebration at Kampung Kaundu near Beafort on Sunday.

“I leave my political career in the hands of the electorate,” he said, adding that the size of the crowd was an indication of the support he enjoyed in the constituency.


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