PETALING JAYA: Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) has denounced a move by the Sabah State Assembly speaker to recognise Lajim Ukin as opposition leader despite the Klias assemblyman receiving only one vote, that too from himself.
Warisan vice-president Junz Wong said the party wanted to know how Syed Abas Syed Ali made the decision when five of Sabah’s 10 opposition assembly members had voted for Parti Cinta Sabah president Wilfred Bumburing.
He said Syed Abas had asked the opposition reps to vote on who should assume the post at a recent assembly sitting.
They later discovered that Lajim, who is Parti Harapan Rakyat president, received only one vote, that cast by himself, Wong told FMT.
“Warisan’s three assemblymen, including myself and DAP’s Edwin Bosi. voted for Bumburing to be the opposition leader,” he said, adding that Bumburing also voted for himself.
He added that Bingkor assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan abstained, while PKR’s Christina Liew voted for herself with her party colleague Roland Chia and DAP’s Chan Fong Hin also opting for her.
“The majority of Sabah opposition assembly members clearly reject Lajim as our leader because he is unfit to be one,” said Wong, who is Likas assemblyman.
“I believe that Lajim is actually helping the Barisan Nasional (BN).”
Wong also said he had at the sitting called on the state government to give its stand on PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (also known as Act 355).
“I asked the Sabah government to take a stand on it but Lajim raised a point of order to stop me. Why is he helping the BN government dodge tough questions?”
Wong said the choice of an opposition leader should not be the speaker’s but the majority of the opposition members.
He said Warisan would now unite with DAP and PKR in supporting Liew as opposition leader.
“For now, we want to put an end to this nonsense. We are putting our differences aside to rally behind Liew.”
He declined to explain why they no longer supported Bumburing.
On April 10, Syed Abas was reported to have announced at the beginning of a four-day sitting that Lajim, who was formerly with PKR, would remain as opposition leader.
Lajim said the appointment was at the speaker’s discretion.