KOTA KINABALU: After seven months keeping mum about his future in Umno, Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin finally took the bold move to relinquish his three positions in the party on July 28, 2012.
Liken himself as a 'candle, willing to be burned for the good of the people', the Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister announced his resignation as the Umno Supreme Council Member, Beaufort Division Umno chief and Beaufort Barisan Nasional chairman with immediate effect.
“I did not rush to make this decision, and instead I have given it much thought. This political move is not for my own gain, but the decision was made based on the interest of the people that hungers for change.
“For now, I have at least cleared the path for those who wish to vote for change, who is hunger for development, and to be at par with other states , who no longer wish to be treated differently … this resignation today (July 28, 2012) is for the people of Sabah, and it is important to strengthen our struggles to ensure the state will continue to be on the right track towards greater heights,” said Lajim, making his special announcement cum breaking of fast before hundreds wellwishers at his residence in Likas, near here.
However, despite relinquishing the three posts, Lajim, who has been with Umno for 28 years and the Beaufort Member of Parliament, said he would leave it to the party leadership to decide on his fate in Umno, as well as the ministerial post.
“I have my own principle, and I believe that it is not impossible that Umno would take action against me. It is up to them to decide on my Umno membership and my post in the cabinet, they can sack me anytime, and whatever their decisions are, I am ready,” said Lajim.
He also claimed that at least 23 other Umno leaders have voiced out their interest to also leave the party.
Currently in a movement, dubbed the Sabah Reform Front (SRF), Lajim said that he is partyless and was thinking of whether to continue his four decades involvement in politics.
“If we wish to continue our political struggles, we would discuss with any parties under the Pakatan Rakyat who are willing to accept us. I do not know whether I would be defending my seat as I would leave it to my supporters to decide. If they want me, I would, If not, I will just assist the future candidate” he said.
He also refuted rumours that he was offered the Chief Minister's post, adding that: “We are in the opposition, not the government.”
Lajim also said that he was not forced to leave BN as there were rumours that he would be dropped from the coalition.
“All I know is that I have raised my grouses to the Prime Minister over matters concerning the Sabah leadership, and my action today is to show them that I was not making false accusations,” he told reporters.
Earlier in his speech, Lajim said it was time for the people to move forward and not be misguided on the myth that only Umno and BN that could bring peace and harmony to them.
“Realities lie on the leadership in states like Selangor, Kedah, Kelantan and Penang, as they are better off than Sabah today.
“I have let myself burnt before, when I sacrificed myself and left Parti Bersatu Sabah on Mar 12, 1994. Many has regarded me as 'katak' (frog), but my decision to leave PBS has helped to formation of the BN government till today.
“But I realise that although Malaysia was formed for almost 50 years now, Sabah is still behind, in terms of development, our voices have fallen to deaf ears in the federal government. Many resolutions and memorandum were forwarded to the top leaderships by the many political parties from sabah and yet, nothing concrete has been done to materialise them.
“That is why Sabahans are getting tired and we come up with slogans such as 'Ini kalilah' (This is it) and 'Mari tukar' (Lets change), and deep down their heart, they wish that Putrajaya would be toppled by a new government through Pakatan Rakyat.
“Having said that, we continue to make calls for the setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry to overcome issues concerning the illegal immigrants, and many other matters, as we all want a new hope which is more positive, for the good of Sabahans.
“We should not longer allow ourselves to be treated like a sheep, left in the barn, waiting for instructions from its master and probably one day be slaughtered. We have our morals and pride. In politics, ideology alone is not enough, we need to have a principle, and it is more meaningful. A person who is equipped with an ideology without principle is like a seaman without a compass. Only with compass would we be able to reach our destination,” he said.
(pix source: sinarharian.com.my)
(pix source: sinarharian.com.my)