Lajim declines to comment on federal post sacking
UPDATED @ 10:54:47 PM 31-07-2012
KOTA KINABALU, July 31 — Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin has declined to comment on the revocation of his appointment as deputy minister of housing and local government effective immediately.
“I have no comments for the time-being and will issue a statement at a suitable time,” he said in a brief statement here today.
The Prime Minister’s Office in a statement today said that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah (picture) has consented to the revocation of his appointment.
It was made under Clause (3) Article 43A read together with Clause (5) Article 43 of the Federal Constitution.
On Saturday, Lajim quit as Umno Supreme Council member and Beaufort division Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman with immediate effect.
The Sabah veteran politician, who also quit as Beaufort Umno division chief, remains a member of Umno.
Meanwhile, Sabah BN secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the revocation of Lajim’s appointment as deputy minister was timely.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong acted correctly. Now the prime minister has to study the scenario and decide whether to leave the post vacant or fill it.”
Abdul Rahman, who is Kota Belud MP, said Lajim should not criticise Umno but still remain a party member.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) information chief Datuk Johnny Mositun had said it is the prerogative of the prime minister to appoint or revoke a ministerial appointment.
In Kuala Lumpur, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said it was unfortunate that Lajim had decided to leave BN as he was a capable leader who had discharged his duties well during his tenure as deputy minister.
Chor, who is also MCA vice-president, said the latest development came as no surprise to him, but he was confident that the BN strength in Sabah remained intact despite the defection of two leaders.
Besides Lajim, UPKO deputy president and Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing quit BN over the weekend to work with the opposition.
Puteri Umno chief Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said Lajim had actually wanted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to sack him to gain the sympathy of Sabahans.
“As an Umno leader from Sabah, I feel that the revocation of his appointment was appropriate as he has shamed the party with his actions. He is an ungrateful leader,” she said when contacted.
Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the issue should not be treated lightly.
“What is more important for Sabah BN is to shore up our defence in preparation for the next general election,” he said.
PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas said Lajim should have stayed put and faced the situation with boldness and confidence as “the grass always look greener on the other side”.
Kayveas said true BN leaders would always stick together and find solutions for shortcomings in the party in an effort to strengthen it in the interest of the people and the country.
MIC secretary-general Datuk S. Murugesan described Lajim’s defection as cheap and unhealthy politics practised by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who has been enticing BN members of parliament to jump ship.
“Well, he (Anwar) had tried in vain to get MIC members. Now, he is doing it with Sabah BN. However, Sabah BN has overcome bigger challenges before.
“Hence, Lajim’s antics will not jeopardise Umno or BN’s strength as BN is focused on moving forward,” he said.
Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said it was Lajim’s prerogative to leave the BN.
“Anyway, I don’t think that he has a big group joining him. Maybe a few of his supporters might follow him. It is an individual choice and I don’t want to speculate.
“Since there is no group joining him, I am sure his departure cannot influence Umno or BN, and does not affect people’s support for BN,” he added. — Bernama