Sunday, January 19

Lajim to replace Thamrin as state PKR chief?

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KOTA KINABALU: A leadership crisis is allegedly brewing in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah, a report said yesterday

The Borneo Insider claimed that there is a strong possibility that the present state PKR liaison chief, Ahmad Thamrin Jaini, could be on the way out and said that the likely candidate to replace him is Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin.

Lajim, who had joined PKR before the 13th general election, contested and won in the Klias state assembly seat. He is currently president of Pertubuhan Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPPS), an NGO.

The Borneo Insider report quoted its source as a ‘senior Sabah PKR leader’ who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The source claimed that if Thamrin were to be ousted, the move might take place sometime next week when more divisions give their endorsement to such a move. It was said that as of to date 19 out of the 25 divisions in the state have given their endorsement.

The portal’s article claimed that the main reason which prompted the imminent ‘mutiny’ was mainly due to Thamrin’s lame leadership and poor performance since his appointment in October 2009.

“We just don’t see any hope for PKR Sabah to progress further under his leadership. But we are confident that Lajim would be a more capable leader. In fact, this has been confirmed by virtue of his appointment as the Sabah opposition leader in the State Legislative Assembly, recently,” said the senior Sabah PKR leader who himself is a Sabah PKR divisional chief.

He pointed out further that Thamrin’s defeat for the Gum-Gum state seat that he contested in the last general election had in effect rendered him as having lost his mandate to lead Sabah PKR. Polling 3,191 votes, Thamrin lost to Datuk Zakaria B.Mohd Edris of Barisan Nasional (BN) who polled 5,548 votes.

“It’s still not too late for him (Thamrin) to save the embarrassment of being ousted, if he steps down gracefully now,” he added.

Besides this, the senior Sabah PKR leader also faulted PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the fielding wrong candidates in the last general elections, claiming that otherwise the party could have won more seats in Sabah.

He cited among the bad choices of candidates included Tan Sri Ibrahim Menudin who lost both the Labuan parliamentary and Bongawan state seats which he contested; Datuk Mohammad Yahya Lampong, who lost his Papar parliamentary seat, and an unknown figure, Fred B. Gabriel in the Pantai Manis state constituency.

“The fielding of some new faces from the PPPS and APS (Angkatan Perubahan Sabah) to replace those senior Sabah PKR leaders like Hj Ansari (former PKR Tuaran Chief) who had been working hard on the ground all these while, was another key contributing factor for the poor election results,” he added.

Lajim, when contacted to confirm the report, declined to comment and said issues like that must be left to the party’s leadership to decide.