Lajim’s new gambit rattling Sabah PKR

Sabah MPs Wilfred Bumburing and Lajim Ukin’s unusual terms of ‘joining’ PKR has raised the question and stoked resentment within state PKR. 

Raymond Tombung, FMT

They try to keep it as quiet as possible – to subdue the irritations – but Sabah PKR just can’t keep it down. The prevailing discomfort has morphed into serious disagreements and the leaders just can’t keep it behind the curtains anymore.

Since MPs Wilfred M Bumburing (Tuaran) and Lajim Ukin (Beaufort) and later (Senator) Maijol Mahap, “joined” PKR, several serious consequences have surfaced.

First of all, Bumburing and Lajim’s unusual terms of “joining” PKR without becoming actual PKR members have raised the question of their real commitment to PKR.

Their choice to just affiliate themselves and “borrow” the PKR ticket when the time comes for them to contest in the 13th general election, has made their sincerity questionable.

And both have allegedly been promised substantial number of seats (rumoured to be around 17 seats each).

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, on his part, is delightedly lapping up the media hype, acting like he scored two important goals in his fight with Barisan Nasional.

Anwar, the perennial opportunist, can sense making political mileage out of it.

The duo had left the BN and invited him to witness their official public declarations, so why not take the golden opportunity to bask in the publicity?

And although deep inside he wished the duo had actually joined PKR, they did not and have not todate.

It is a smart move on Lajim and Bumburing’s part.

Smart move

By coming into the PKR camp without really becoming members, by being pro-PKR or pro-Pakatan Rakyat but remaining independent, these MPs thought they had their cake and could eat it too.

They wanted to be able to move about and speak at will without having to get any approval from PKR (read Sabah PKR).

In the case of Tuaran, there was no outward clash for positions in the PKR division; Ansari Abdullah continued unthreatened as the division’s head.

But moving unhindered under Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS), Bumburing is harnessing the support from those who were in BN with him while enjoying the ready assurance of the support of the PKR members – a nice way to kill two birds with one stone.

Kalakau Untol, previously in an uncomfortable position in Tuaran PKR due to his inability to forge real co-operation with Ansari, has now found his niche and purpose under APS, while still a PKR member.

Will Bumburing throw his weight to field Kalakau as the Tuaran MP candidate in the 13th general election?

This can only happen if Ansari decides not to re-try his luck in the MP contest this time round. Bacause if he does that, Azmin Ali (PKR deputy president) will surely decide in his favour.

But the decision by the defectors not to join PKR was a smart move only to a point.

This is because a clash between the duo and the Sabah PKR old guards is unavoidable – they could pretend to ignore the potential fireworks only for a while.

Initially, the PKR leaders made comforting self-reassurances that co-operation was being nicely established and the whole arrangement is good for the party, no matter what.