Exits a Anwar-Lajim plan in Sabah?

Speculations are rife that 12 division chiefs will exit the party soon, paving the way for Sabah PKR chief Lajim Ukin to do as he pleases.

Luke Rintod, FMT

Hot on the heel of a defection last Monday and the resignation yesterday of Jelani Hamdan from his post as Sabah PKR’s State Leadership Council (MPN) vice-chairman I, is a rumour that at least 12 of its division heads are deserting the party.

Although the rumoured 12 ‘Ketua Cabang’  have not been named it is believed they are a mix of ethnic groups.

If this happens, then Sabah PKR chief Lajim Ukin will finally have a free hand to set up his own team, something that many in the party here initially were not in favour off.

If the strategy is to purge the ‘deviants’ and ‘peninsularize’ its Bumiputra leaders to boost his political ambitions, then PKR de factor leader Anwar Ibrahim’s contentious decision to appoint Lajim is a premeditated plan.

Meanwhile efforts to get Sabah PKR leaders to comment on this latest development was futile.

Yesterday FMT reported that Lajim’s leadership was the reason for many to quit the party.

Last Monday Kadamaian assemblyman Jeremmy Ukoh Malajad’s quit the party declaring himself to be Barisan Nasional friendly. He is expected to join Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) soon.

Yesterday jelani, who is Matunggong assemblyman quit his post with immediate effect.

He however made no mention of quiting the party or defecting.

But Jelani did say that he was “unsure” about his membership application in PKR. He said he had applied to be a member in 2010 but had yet to receive a confirmation.

Anwar-Lajim to blame

Jelani however was clear about his reason for quiting the post.

‘I can no longer work with (Datuk) Lajim,” he said.

Jelani, a Rungus Muslim, has already openly rebuked Lajim’s leadership of the party in Sabah.

He told a press conference yesterday that his dissatisfaction started during the process of appointing the opposition leader in the Sabah state assembly and the appointment of the Sabah MPN chairman which were made without consensus.

Jelani, it is learnt, has been bombarded by pleas from Anwar and senior PKR leaders not to follow Malajad’s move.

The latest rumour about the possible exit of 12 ‘ketua cabang’ PKR meanwhile is not without its precedence.

In the run-up to the May general election Sabah PKR saw four of its key division leaders quit the party in haste an join BN citing various reasons for leaving, with unhappiness over Anwar’s leadership as the main reason.

The four who quit on April 25 this year were Sandakan PKR division head Mazhry Nasir, Kota Belud PKR division head Saidil Simoi, Kalabakan PKR division head Irianshah Yunus and Putatan PKR division acting chief Abdul Zainal Atin, as well as Batu Sapi PKR division deputy chief Zainuddin Hassan.

Interestingly enough, even Lajim’s own younger brother, Ramli @ Abdul Jarih Ukin, who had  headed PKR Beaufort division also quit the party, allegedly taking with him “thousands” of members in Beaufort.

Their actions on the eve of the general election threw PKR campaign in shambles, especially as Saidil was Sabah PKR “Buku Jingga” director while Mazhry himself was its deputy election director for the May poll.