Monday, June 11, 2012
Lajim denies defection, but says 'anything is possible'
Sabah Umno stalwart Lajim Ukin has rubbished speculation over the weekend that his party members were defecting to PKR, but stressed that nothing is impossible in politics.
"That is just speculation, sensationalised by irresponsible quarters. I'm a senior politician, but anything can happen and if it is my constituents' desire for me to do so, then I will do what they want me to do," said Lajim, when cornered by reporters at Parliament House today.
"Whenever I voice the concerns of my people, I may sound like the opposition, but I have to do it for the betterment of my people," he said.
The Beaufort MP (right) even went as far as to say that therumour about his crossover had been started by those within his party.
"The speculation could have started internally with the intention to sideline me from BN," he said.
Nevertheless, if Sabah is BN's safe deposit, then the woes of its people must be resolved, said Lajim, who also said he had recently met Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on the matter.
"We have to be outspoken to ensure that our constituencies are well taken of and for overall benefit to the government."
Lajim complained that his constituency has for "centuries" experienced "flood problems" and also lacks well-paved roads.
"Today, the people are not like those of the 1960s, but are well-educated and have access to the new media," he noted.
"If I don't speak out, what will my constituents think of me? How am I to capture their hearts?"
The former deputy chief minister dismissed the alleged "internal ploy" as a political game, reminding detractors that he has been a politician for 26 years.
When contacted today, Sabah PKR chief Ahmad Thamrin Jaini also played down the talk of defection as mere speculation.
"No, the function yesterday was mainly for a fund-raising dinner, not for anyone to cross over," he said.
The spotlight had been on the dinner, with talk circulating that Lajim and United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation deputy president Wilfred Bumburing would be defecting to PKR. However, this did not materialise.
"Perhaps because Bumburing (left), who is from BN, was at the Kaamatan festival and (PKR de facto leader) Anwar (Ibrahim) was to attend the event, it created the perception that there would be a crossover," Thamrin said.
Asked if Sabah PKR expects any defections from BN in the near future, Thamrin replied, "I think so," but he did not want to elaborate on who the potential defectors might be.
"I don't want to speculate. Just wait until the time comes," he added.