Lajim and Bumburing won't jump ship easily without something good in return - Rahman Dahlan.
KUALA LUMPUR: The crossover of former Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin to the opposition coalition is history repeating itself, said Sabah Barisan National secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Saying the crossover was reminiscence of 1994, Abdul Rahman said the resignations of Lajim and another Sabah BN leader Datuk Seri Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing were a non-event.
He said such turn of event is only expected as it involved Pakatan Rakyat leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“I dont think Kadadazan-Dusun society in Sabah can forgive both of them since Lajim had betrayed PBS before. Due to Lajim's betrayal that was engineered by Anwar, PBS was removed from power,” Abdul Rahman told The Mole.
He was referring to the Sabah state election of 1994 that was won marginally by PBS then an opposition party.
In that election, BN's campaign was spearheaded by Anwar, then Deputy Prime Minister and BN deputy chairman, who was instrumental in the crossovers of several PBS assemblymen to BN leading to the collapse ofthe PBS State Government.
Ironically, the first PBS assemblyman to crossover to BN then was Lajim.
During the Sabah election in 1994, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang had raised issue about Anwar and his promises during the election campaign, questioning the former's transparency in fulfilling those promises..
Abdul Rahman, who is MP for Kota Belud said Lajim was actually showing his frustration due to his unfulfilled ambition to become the Sabah chief minister.
He said the current development could lead to an interesting twist in the opposition coalition because there are already leaders who think they are perfect candidates to be the next Sabah chief minister.
They include State Reform Party (Star)’s president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP)’s president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.
When asked whether the crossovers will affect BN’s performance in the next general election, Abdul Rahman dismissed such notions saying BN will always be strong because of its unity.
Another Sabah BN leader Datuk Masidi Manjun said it was very questionablefor Lajim to only expressed his frustration now after years being part of the state and federal governments.
"The same goes with Bumburing who have held a ministerial post and was also the deputy chief minister at one point. It is quite surprising that they are now singing a different tune just when their political career is coming to an end. The rakyat can surely see this."
"As veterans in Sabah's political scenario, both Lajim and Bumburing undoubtedly have their own strengths but I don't think they will affect BN Sabah's position and Datuk Seri Musa Aman's (the Sabah chief minister) leadership," he said.
Several blogs have speculated that the two MPs can be a catalyst for more crossovers in Sabah.
Another article stated politics in Sabah had been witness to crossovers and party hoppings with the most significant in recent years would be that in 1994.
Blogger Taiping Mali speculated that Lajim's decision came about because he was not going to be renominated as a candidate in the next election.
"As an opportunist, Lajim has to make the decision soon since his political career is coming to an end if he stays with BN," the blogger said.
Portal The Choice viewed Lajim and Bumburing's decision to form their own parties and not join the existing parties in Pakatan as a calculated move though it may raise the question of how committed the duo are in supporting Anwar.
"Lajim has created the Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS) and Bumburing the Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS). Expect to see these two new parties engaged in horse trading and deals before their positions in Pakatan are agreed," the portal said.