‘RM1.5b donation for KL war chest’

Winning Sabah will be Umno-Barisan Nasional’s biggest expense, claim party insiders.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Sabah Umno “strongman” Lajim Ukin’s no-show at a meeting with deputy party president Muhyiddin Yassin earlier this week was “not deliberate”.

Lajim is widely speculated to be quitting the party following a fallout with Sabah Umno president Musa Aman.

According to Lajim’s press secretary Japar Abdul Wahid, it was simply a case of “timing”.

“When the letter informing Lajim of the meeting arrived, he was already on leave.

“So he did not deliberately miss the meeting,” he said, adding that Lajim was in China for a medical check-up.

Lajim, it appeared, was concerned about speculations circulating that he will quit Umno and join Sabah Progressive Front (SPF) which was once headed by former chief minister Harris Salleh.

Gossips peaked when both Sepanggar Umno division chief, Jumat Idris, and opposition Sabah Progressive Peoples Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee, urged Lajim to tell the truth about his alleged intention to quit Umno.

It’s common knowledge that Lajim, who is Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister, and Musa are at each other’s throat.

Rumour has it that Musa is aiming to drop Lajim, who is Beaufort MP, and field a relative instead in the coming general election.

Lajim is not the only “victim”. Several other local Umno names have also surfaced in recent weeks.

Umno Sabah is in troubled waters with deep divisions between Musa and national vice-president Shafie Apdal.

Muhyiddin, Shafie and vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein’s presence here earlier this week was indicative of the severity of the situation.

Collective contribution

Sources here claim that the trio were here to suss out the “actual” situation on the ground and decide on “battle plans and budgets” going into the polls, which incidentally PAS has predicted will be held on March 11.

Sabah will be the most costly affair for Umno but win the state it must.

A source told FMT today that some RM1.5 billion is likely to be “donated” to Kuala Lumpur’s war chest.

The money, the source said, will be a “collective contribution” from “about 20 businessmen here”.

“Musa has already pledged the money to Najib. It will be about RM1.5 or RM2 billion. He has rounded up the donors and everyone is just waiting for his cue. It will be in cash,” said the source.