Once again it is the season for political frogs to jump in the Wild Wild East. To be fair to these politicians, they don’t see themselves as “political amphibians”.
If you know Lajim, you would know that he is not that smart with smartphone. Earlier this year, he joked that he owned three smartphones – one for personal use, one for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and one for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. And when one of the phones rang, he did not know who was calling him – his wife, Najib or Anwar.
ONE MAN'S MEAT By PHILIP GOLINGAI, The Star
THIRTEEN more Sabah politicians will jump. That was the rumour in Sabah after Umno’s Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin and Upko’s Datuk Wilfred Bumburing announced they had become PKR friendly MPs.
“Who?” I asked when told on Monday, a day after the weekend jumps.
“Incumbent assemblymen, MPs and senators,” said several political sources in Sabah.
Once again it is the season for political frogs to jump in the Wild Wild East.
To be fair to these politicians, they don’t see themselves as “political amphibians”.
Beaufort MP Lajim claimed he quit his positions within Barisan Nasional (i.e. Umno supreme council member) “for the people’s sake”. Tuaran MP Bumburing claimed he quit as deputy president of Upko (United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation) for the sake of Sabahans.
Because I was born yesterday, I believe the sincerity of Lajim and Bumburing who in 1994 ditched Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) to join Umno and Parti Demokratik Sabah (later renamed Upko) respectively.
Then came the third resignation. Upko vice-president Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap quit his party.
With the three resignations, finally the one-sixth of the open secret that almost everybody in Sabah knew since last year became a reality.
The rumour then was politicians from Umno, the backbone of Sabah BN (controlling 32 state seats out of 60), would join a new opposition party.
In the list were – to quote my article published on Jan 16, “three incumbent MPs (one with a glamourous wife), a former chief minister, a former federal minister, a state minister and half a dozen warlords and former lawmakers”.
“The speculated list is impressive. It is as if the Manchester United reserve team plus Dimitar Berbatov and Paul Scholes had ditched the Red Devils to form a club to contest against United in the FA Cup,” I wrote.
Many politicos outside of Sabah have a superficial knowledge of Lajim and Bumburing. For example, when a Twitter account with the handle @LajimUkim was launched on Wednesday, many thought it belonged to the Beaufort MP.
Later it was pointed out that his name was spelled wrongly. It should be “Ukin” and not “Ukim”.
When the Twitter handle was changed to @LajimUkin, some still believed it belonged to Lajim. A PKR assemblyman from Penang even tweeted: “Introducing a heavyweight leader to Twitterjaya – @LajimUkin”.
The other two pointers were the tweets were too “sophisticated” for Lajim and the Twitterer was using an Android smartphone.
If you know Lajim, you would know that he is not that smart with smartphone. Earlier this year, he joked that he owned three smartphones – one for personal use, one for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and one for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
And when one of the phones rang, he did not know who was calling him – his wife, Najib or Anwar.
If you know Lajim, you would know that he might not be the “hero” that the opposition has painted him to be.
Using Manchester United as metaphor to explain one of the many reasons for Lajim’s exit, here’s what happened.
Portuguese winger Nani (Lajim) organised a dressing room unrest against manager Sir Alex Ferguson (Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman).
However, just like how Roy Keane (the then Red Devils captain) found out, you can’t take on Ferguson when he has the backing of the Manchester United board.
While he was rebelling against Ferguson, Lajim tried to establish F.C. United of Manchester (formed in 2005 by Manchester United supporters opposed to American businessman Malcolm Glazer’s controversial takeover of the club).
He failed when the political party he was eyeing, Sabah People’s Front, was taken over by the Sng family and renamed Sarawak Workers Party.
Partyless, Lajim and Bumburing formed NGOs with similar, confusing names, Sabah Reform Front and Sabah Reform Movement, respectively.
They are “on loan” from PKR and Anwar has allowed these two non-party members to field their own candidates in certain seats in Sabah.
Some Sabahans PKR die-hards are unhappy with this “suka sama suka” (consensual) deal between Anwar and the two players on loan.
On Wednesday, I flew to my hometown, Kota Kinabalu and the same rumour was repeated, “I heard 13 more to jump”.
Sounds possible especially with Anwar taunting “I will be back in Sabah on Aug 12, with some more possible good news ...
“I have alerted leaders of PKR and DAP. It’s not just Lajim and Bumburing, but also a number of leaders,” the Opposition leader said.
Has anyone told Anwar that Christmas has come early to Sabah? Santa Claus was in town and he told politicians to better watch out as he’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.
The only jumping in Sabah until dissolution day will be political tadpoles.