Anwar wants apology over Lajim buy-over claim, says PKR
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today demanded an apology from Umno’s Dr Puad Zarkashi for purportedly alleging that his Sabah colleague Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin had been bought over.
Lajim, a former Umno supreme council member, had last week quit all his positions in the party and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Puad had in a Sinar Harian report published on July 31 appeared to suggest that Anwar had possibly used money to “persuade Lajim (picture) to leave the party”.
“Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has through his solicitors issued a letter to Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, demanding that he withdraw the allegation within 48 hours from today,” said PKR vice-president N. Surendran in a statement today, describing Puad’s remarks as “false and irresponsible”.
He said the de facto PKR leader also demanded that Puad “publish an unconditional apology in two national dailies including Sinar Harian”, besides claiming damages and legal costs.
He also said the matter would be brought to court if Puad fails to comply with the demands in the letter.
Surendran said Puad had not given any evidence “to substantiate his outrageous allegation”, saying that this was “proof of Umno’s desperation and fear in the face of massive loss of support for the BN in Sabah.”
He said Lajim’s “brave resignation” was “made in the interest of the people of Sabah”.
The Beaufort MP had on Sunday launched the Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS), a new political movement aligned to the federal opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Since his resignation from the Beaufort Umno division chief and Beaufort BN chairman positions, Lajim’s deputy minister post has been revoked with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent.
Lajim is, however, still an Umno member and the party on Monday gave him 14 days to explain why he should not be sacked for his actions.