Sunday, 20 December 2015

Lajim set to ‘lock horns’ with PKR headquarters

The feedback from headquarters is that the local chapters in Borneo should take “baby steps” in seeking greater autonomy from national leaders in the peninsula.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Opposition Leader and the head of the local chapter of the peninsula-based PKR, Lajim Ukin, who defected from the Barisan Nasional (BN) before the last General Election, has thrown down the gauntlet with party headquarters. This follows the realisation that the rural voters in Orang Asal country refuse to have anything to do with the party.

“Many Sabahans think that just as in Umno Sabah, PKR Sabah leaders have little say on how the state should be run.”

Taking a leaf from former PKR vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan, Lajim is demanding that PKR Sabah and Sarawak be allowed to have their own annual congresses separate from that held in the peninsula by the headquarters.

“We don’t want people going around saying that we are a parti Malaya and that we have no business being in Borneo,” said Lajim.

“We want to dispel the notion that we are puppets like the BN component parties in Sabah who are puppets of Umno and like the puppets in Umno Sabah.”

Lajim was explaining to the local media the stir he created in Shah Alam recently when he turned up with a 270-strong delegation from Sabah with placards demanding that Sabah and Sarawak be allowed to hold their own separate annual congresses.

“This is in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63),” said Lajim. “We must have autonomy from the headquarters.”

“If we can hold our own annual Congress, it will help us cut down on expenses travelling to the peninsula on party matters.”

He claims that the party headquarters may agree, in principle, that the Sabah and Sarawak chapters of the party have more autonomy. However, the feedback from the headquarters is that the local chapters in Borneo should take “baby steps” in seeking greater autonomy from the national leaders in the peninsula.

Lajim, who was appointed by jailed de facto Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, isn’t sure whether the PKR Sabah Chief should be elected.

Jeffrey left PKR when his demand that the PKR Sabah leader be elected was rejected by Anwar. The de facto PKR Chief also rejected Jeffrey’s demand that he make good his promise to honour the Tambunan Declaration which includes MA63.

PKR won seven state seats in 2013 but three of the lawmakers have since defected from the party. The party also holds the Penampang parliamentary seat.

The peninsula-based opposition parties in Sabah, as in Sarawak, are bogged down by local opposition parties splitting votes when it comes to election time. The peninsula-based opposition parties in Borneo claim that local opposition parties are being sponsored by BN, a charge which they have denied.

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