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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Will Wan Azizah back Thamrin’s ousting?

Sabah PKR insiders have hinted that a leadership change in the state could happen as early as next week.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR has submitted a memorandum to its national president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, proposing that Klias assemblyman Lajim Ukin head the state party as he is “the most qualified person for the job”.
The memorandum was apparently handed over to Wan Azizah, together with a letter, during a meeting on May 24.
Acting PKR Beaufort divisional chief Taufick Ruschi said there was “a strong possibility” that current president Ahmad Thamrin Jaini would be replaced soon as the party’s chief in Sabah.
“We are hopeful that the president will give our proposal due consideration because currently there is no one more suitable and qualified to lead the state PKR, than Lajim.
“But we respect the central leadership’s decision and will accept whoever is appointed as the state Chairman but we hope that the leadership will take the divisional chiefs’ opinion seriously,” he said.
So far 19 out of the 25 divisions in the state have done so.
Taufick, who is also PKR Sabah’s Voter Registration and Membership Bureau chairman, said that the divisions who had voted for a change in the state PKR leadership are Papar, Sipitang, Beaufort, Beluran, Keningau, Labuan FT, Kinabatangan, Pensiangan, Silam, Kimanis, Kota Marudu, Tuaran, Sepanggar, Kalabakan, Kudat, Tenom and Kota Belud.
They believe Lajim will bring new ideas to the Sabah PKR leadership and also rejuvenate the people’s confidence in the party.
“There’s an urgent need to reform and re-invent Sabah PKR to better prepare for the 14th general election.
“I know people are saying that senior members should be given priority but we must keep in mind that Lajim has vast experience in politics. I personally would turn it down if offered to lead the state leadership,” he said.
“Lajim’s appointment as the opposition’s chief whip in the state assembly is a clear hint (that Wan Azizah will accept the proposal),” he said.
PKR’s leadership issues
Taufick also claimed that Thamrin, had, during a state supreme council meeting just after the 13th general election, told them that he was ready to step down from the post as Sabah PKR chairman when a suitable candidate agreed by all could fill the post.
The group promoting Lajim are hoping that the two would hold talks and discuss the issue for the good of the party.
“I am proud of Thamrin as he became Sabah PKR chairman during a trying time and he handled it well. I really hope that the two of them can resolve this issue amicably,’ Taufick said.
Meanwhile Sabah PKR vice-chairman James Ghani, who was also contacted yesterday, endorsed Lajim saying he was a leader who had the experience, ability and the qualities needed to lead the party in the state.
“We support the proposal and have sent a memorandum to party president (Datuk Seri) Wan Azizah on the issue,’ he said.
PKR has had leadership issues since moving into the state.
In early 2011, 42-year-old Pajudin Nordin, was named the party’s chief, stepping in after a revolt against Thamrin.
He quit the party a month after he was installed and joined Umno. Ansari was at the time widely seen as leading a faction in the party supporting Pajudin.
Wan Azizah was forced to step in as temporary head before Thamrin was reappointed to the post.
Matters again came to a head when former Tuaran division chief Ansari Abdullah was first suspended and then emotionally quit the party last month after the general elections over the choice of the party’s election candidates.
In 2010, Jeffrey Kitingan, then a senior leader in the party, decided to quit after failing to get sufficient support from division leaders.

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