Lajim objects to revival of CM rotation

(Daily Express) – Sabah Reform Alliance (PPPS) Chairman Datuk Lajim Ukin objected to the proposal to revive the Chief Minister rotation system in Sabah, saying it will only disrupt the State’s administration.

He said if the system were to be re-implemented, it would be as though Sabah has no credible leader to lead the State. “It will disrupt all the development planning because before it can be implemented, the Chief Minister is changed and automatically all the government officers are also replaced.

The system will cause anxiety among the government officers thinking if the new Chief Minister will be needing them or not.

It will create a very bad working environment,” he said, commenting on the proposal by Upko Keningau recently.

Met after opening the Beaufort parliamentary level Ma’al Hijrah celebration at Surau Nurul Ihsan in Limbawang here on Thursday, Lajim said the changing of Chief Minister should only be done if it was unavoidable and to stop the rot in the State Government administration under a non-performing leader.

He said the system was implemented by the Barisan Nasional (BN) previously just to hoodwink the component leaders.

“The BN had a hidden agenda when the rotation system was implemented, that is to continue holding power by giving several Sabah leaders the chance to become Chief Minister before it was scrapped.

“At that time, the BN realised that the rotation was not beneficial at all and in fact was only jeopardising the State’s administration.

Therefore, I totally object to any suggestion to revive it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lajim expressed support to a suggestion by the PAS youth wing that the posts of Prime Minister and Finance Minister be separated to ensure transparency in the management of the nation’s finances.

He said the two posts should not be held by the same person as what is practised by BN now, which is aimed at strengthening the position of the nation’s top leader to the extent that it affects the check-and-balance system in monitoring how the country’s money is spent.

He claimed BN is practising this system because the Prime Minister fears that if the powerful finance portfolio is held by someone else, it might affect the former’s influence.

“Umno is worried that if the two positions are separated, as was the case when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was Finance Minister, he would become so powerful that he posed a threat to the Prime Minister,” added Lajim, a former federal Deputy Minister.

Lajim also cited the case of another former Finance Minister, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who became so powerful that he lost to Dr Mahathir in the fight for the Umno presidency by just 40 votes.

“Thus, Umno is not going to have another person holding the finance portfolio to prevent history from recurring,” Lajim, also a former Sabah deputy chief minister, said.