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Who really is Lajim’s ‘tuan’?

Has Sabah MP Lajim Ukin really defected or is this all
just another shadow play engineered by both
Najib Tun Razak and Anwar Ibrahim?
KOTA KINABALU: Whatever the game Umno chief Najib Tun Razak and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim are playing in Sabah, it is going to be fiery and those who will feel the heat at the ballot boxes are the locals whose minds are being toyed with, spirits tested and loyalties horse-traded.
The reverberations from Barisan Nasional MPs Lajim Ukin and Wilfred Bumburing’s defections – if indeed they are defections – are hitting hard at the walls of Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman and his counterpart in Sarawak Taib Mahmud.
Cut from the same cloth and soaked in Mahathir-mentored politics, neither Najib nor Anwar seems to really care about Sabahans or Sarawakians.
For them the priority is securing Putrajaya at whatever cost. At stake is Sabah’s 25 and Sarawak’s 31 parliamentary seats.
While Sarawak is for now less of a threat to Najib, Sabah, on the other end, is literally holding the Najib and BN-run federal government policies to ransom. It is no more a fixed deposit despite the state BN’s postulations.
Sabah is the poorest state in Malaysia and its masses are writhing under federal government policies that have made basic necessities a luxury.
Since Sunday, when Lajim and Bumburing officially made known their view of BN, denials of problems within Sabah Umno ranks and declarations of a “consolidated” state BN have come fast and furious.
Not surprisingly, Lajim was yesterday stripped of his post as deputy minister.
But what will be interesting to watch is if Umno sacks him for insubordination and the strategy Lajim will invoke.
Lajim is an old hand at politics, having wheeled and dealed his way through state politics since the 1970s.
He is in the know of Sabah Umno’s deepest darkest secrets, including the alleged RM100 million which Musa claimed belonged to Umno.
Let’s not forget that Lajim was once Sabah’s deputy chief minister and privy to insider information. He was appointed to the post after he won the Klias state seat in the 1999 polls under Umno ticket.
Lajim knows Anwar well too. Anwar was the deputy prime minister when in 1994 he brought Lajim into Umno and later engineered the downfall of Joseph Pairin Kitingan’s Parti Sabah Bersatu (PBS) government, a Christian administration, which then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad could not accept. PBS toppled Berjaya in the 1985 polls.
Even then Anwar had promised Lajim a chief minister’s post but that never happened.
Thus Lajim knows the political thinking of Anwar. He knows Najib and Najib knows him.
‘No loyalty from Lajim’
With Lajim it is not a question of loyalty. Both leaders are willing to play ball in a free-for-all battle for supremacy in the 13th general election.
Lajim has resigned from all his posts in Umno but has remained an Umno member while openly expressing support for Anwar’s agenda.
He has nothing against Umno; in fact, he is closely aligned to Umno leaders Shafie Apdal and Muhyiddin Yassin.
His only real contention has been that Najib must keep his promise and purge Musa.
But can Najib be seen doing this to a chief minister who’s been good to Putrajaya and allegedly to him personally?
Musa, Lajim claimed, had no support and many of the Sabah Umno MPs and assemblymen had no confidence in the Musa leadership.
As if on cue yesterday, Sabah Legislative Assembly Speaker Salleh Keruak vehemently denied that Lajim’s resignation from Umno and BN had anything to do with the internal problems in Sabah Umno.
“All his reasons for leaving Umno, which he helped [form the government] by toppling the PBS government in 1994, are merely excuses for his mission to stay afloat politically,” Salleh told FMT.
The key words here would be to “stay afloat politically”. As an incumbent in Beaufort, Lajim wants to defend his seat and perhaps try for a parliamentary constituency.
Ask any local political pundits and they’ll put their money on Lajim winning in his constituency – he is a “winnable” candidate, they say.
If BN wins, Lajim sees himself being appointed as a full minister. If Pakatan wins, then Anwar has promised him the chief ministership.
Perak defection revisited?
But Musa is allegedly against Lajim defending his seat and continuing to lord over west-coast Sabah.
He is looking to replace Lajim with his own man and perhaps even consolidate his brother Anifah Aman’s sway in the state. Anifah, who is Foreign Minister, is also Kimanis MP.
There is a group here who believe that Anifah should take over from Musa as chief minister.
They claim he has less “political luggage” and is not as “soaked” in Umno’s ways.
They also claim that Anifah, having spent his early days studying in England, is more exposed, articulate, has finesse and was doing a fine job as Foreign Minister.
This the Lajim group is dead against. Lajim’s loyalty is to Shafie who wants to be Sabah chief minister.
One wonders then if Lajim is as true to his struggle as he may be to his real bosses.
There’s a phrase in the KL circles which goes like this: “jaga tuan jaga tuhan” – which literally means “take care of your boss and look after God”.
In Lajim’s case, who is really his boss? Consider the fact that he has not quit Umno.
In which case, would we consider him a Trojan horse?
It’s not unprecedented really because in 2009 it was an Umno defector who eventually triggered the reverse takeover by BN of the Pakatan government in Perak.
Bota constituency’s Umno representative Nasaruddin Hashim defected to PKR on Jan 25, 2009, saying that his constituents were supportive and he received no monetary award to defect.
Soon after, Najib took over the reigns of Umno Perak and BN then “engineered the re-crossover of Nasaruddin and three other Perak assemblymen from Pakatan Rakyat” and effectively ended the democratically voted government.


  1. Lajim's tuan must be Anwar Ibrahim.

    1. I guess so too.

    2. memang Anwar la yang yang bos si Lajim sekarang ni.

    3. Anwar lah... Lajim kena janji kali kalau Anwar menang, beliau jadi KM..

    4. Anwar mmg pandai pengaruhi Lajim.

  2. Biarkan Lajim dengan halatuju politik beliau sendiri.

    1. Biar lah Lajim tu. Biar dia dengan haluannya masing2.

    2. betul..biar saja si Lajim dengan keputusannya.

  3. I think he is his own master. After all, that's why he quit UMNO.

  4. Stop talking about Lajim,m getting sick of it.

    1. ramai sudah yang tidak suka dengan si Lajim.

  5. Just wait and see how long he can stay in that coalition.

  6. sekarang Lajim dan Anwar sudah semestinya jadi geng.

  7. Lajim akan disanjung dalam PKR buat masa sekarang..tapi rasanya susah juga PKR mahu menang sebab PR tidak begitu ngam dengan STAR.

    1. Star kan pernah suruh parti Malaya balik Malaya. pasti PR tak serasi dgn Star.

  8. Tuan baru pembangkang la dulu kerajaan tiba2 tukar p pembangkang.. apa macam ooo...

  9. Apapun lajim sudah meninggalkan UMNO, pasti beliau selesa dengan keputusan yang di buat oleh beliau, tapi malangnya beliau tidak membawa bersama penyokongnya.
    Sebagai Info :
    Sabah United Bisaya Association (PBBS) has distanced itself from Beaufort MP Datuk Lajim Ukin's decision to align himself with Pakatan Rakyat.

    Ini la yang berlaku jika kita menjalankan tugas dengan baik pasti akan mendapat perhatian dari penyokong dan mereka juga akan turut keluar parti, tapi apa sebaliknya yang berlaku terhadap Lajim. Ini menunjukkan Lajim bukanlah seorang pemimpin yang baik. Oleh itu kita kena berhati2 semasa memilih calon2 yang akan dipertandingkan dalam PRU yang akan datang.

  10. Former Umno Supreme Council member Datuk mSeri Lajim Ukin's decision to quit all party posts is influenced primarily by Pakatan's psychological warfare that they will form the next government after the coming general election.

  11. Describing Pakatan's confidence to achieve the desired goal as a mere political propaganda, Sabah Umno liaison deputy chief Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said Lajim's resignation had nothing to do with Umno's internal problems in the state.


  12. "I believe he (Lajim) does not want to miss the boat...that's why he tried to find an excuse for his mission, but to me, what Pakatan is promising is just a hope or dream," he told Bernama, here, today.

  13. Lajim had earlier announced he was resigning as Umno Supreme Council member, Beaufort Umno division chief and Beaufort Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman with immediate effect.

  14. However, he has chosen to remain an Umno member and as deputy housing and local government minister.

  15. Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was quoted as saying that "what has happened is an internal issue of a personal nature involving Lajim and certain people in the domestic political arena. It should not be linked with a party that has rendered exceptional service to the nation and people".


  16. Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan was also quoted as describing the departure of Lajim from BN as more of a personal problem.

  17. Salleh, who is also Sabah Legislative Assembly Speaker, said the state leadership was always open to discussions on how to strengthen the party and everyone had a role to play.

  18. "The Sabah Umno liaison chairman (Datuk Seri Musa Aman) is very open and accomodative. However, the party must reject leaders who put it at ransom.

  19. "Lajim's political calculation is wrong. All studies conducted by professionals indicate Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak''s popularity is at a comfortable level," he said, adding that Lajim's departure would not affect BN''s strength in the state.

  20. The former chief minister said: "InsyaAllah (God willing), Najib''s popularity will be able to lead BN to a two-thirds majority in the coming general election." Salleh said Umno and BN were ready for the general election, which is due to be held soon.


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