KOTA KINABALU: Klias assemblyman Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin has been chosen as the leader of state opposition elected representatives.
Sabah PKR secretary Dr Roland Chia when making the announcement yesterday also disclosed that Api Api assemblywoman Christina Liew, with the consensus and agreement of the party’s leadership, will be PKR Sabah chief whip.
Dr Roland himself will be the opposition secretariat that is being set up on the recommendation of its leader Lajim.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Dr Roland who is Inanam assemblyman said on June 12, Pakatan Rakyat Sabah Secretariat had a meeting which was attended by all three state liaison chairmen, Ahmad Thamrin Jaini for PKR Sabah, Aminuddin Aling for Pas Sabah and Jimmy Wong from DAP Sabah.
“On June 13th, the PKR and DAP lawmakers had a lunch meeting after the swearing in ceremony for the final selection of the opposition leader. One of the recommendations made by the state opposition chairmen was that voting should be made among the lawmakers.
“The vote was taken and the opposition leader was selected based on the majority votes garnered, which is Datuk Lajim. This is in line with the State Assembly Speaker Datuk Salleh Said’s statement that the appointment of an opposition leader was not stipulated in the state constitution or in the state assembly standing orders.
“That is why we proceeded on June 13 to select based on votes and Datuk Lajim who garnered the majority of the votes was declared as the opposition leader for Sabah. The letter of recommendation and notification has been issued by the secretary general of Parti KeADILan Rakyat Malaysia, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution, and was also sent to Sabah State Speaker,” he said.
Dr Roland added that the recommendation was by PKR secretary general because Lajim is a PKR member and that Pakatan Rakyat is not a registered party.
On the opposition secretariat, Dr Roland said its role was to coordinate with the two party chief whips and other opposition lawmakers with regard to issues raised in the state assembly.
The other role of the secretariat is to ensure the proper setting up of an opposition office in the state assembly building.
“At the moment we do not have a proper office, we do not have a proper conference room, library, staff, but these are all provided for the BN lawmakers. We feel that this privilege should also be accorded to opposition lawmakers because we represent the voice of the constituents who gave us their mandate.
“This has been communicated to the State Assembly secretary Datuk Bernard Dalinting as a matter of urgency because we need to prepare ourselves for the state assembly sitting. The setting up of the secretariat is vital and if you look at parliament, the 14th floor is allocated to the opposition office for its leaders. This is to ensure the proper separation of powers of judiciary parliament as well as the executive,” he said.
Lajim also said he would be announcing the opposition’s shadow cabinet on Monday.