KOTA KINABALU, Dec 20 ― No one component party should dominate Sabah’s Opposition alliance, Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin said today.
Seeking to avoid autocratic rule, the Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah president cited Sabah Umno which had contested some 32 out of 60 state constituencies, and was now the dominant party that could rule the state.
“There needs to be more consensus among the component parties. It cannot be like Parti Harapan insisting on contesting in all the Muslim seats in the state, then if I win, I can rule the state on my own.
“Then the rest of the component parties can only follow along and nod their heads. This is not what we want. We want consensus among all components,” he said.
To this, he said it was imperative that all state-based opposition band together and be a united front in pushing for Sabah agendas that would benefit the state.
“The main priority when it comes to seat division should be what benefits the people, not for the seats. Like for me, I’ve already been deputy chief minister, and assistant minister, a deputy federal minister, on the Umno Supreme council and many more.
“We will not get the people’s support if we are just coveting positions, like the chief minister or the finance minister post, and use the people’s votes to get there. That won’t work,” he said.
Lajim, who was PKR Sabah chief and a former state Umno senior leader, said that the parties ought to streamline their policies and manifestos and work out their differences in order to gain the people’s confidence.
He said this during the launching event of his new party here at Dewan Hakka today.
The party, he said, would concentrate on the Sabah agenda and put the State on par with peninsula Malaysia in terms of socio economic development and infrastructure.
The launching was attended by United Sabah Alliance party leaders like Datuk Noor Mansor, Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee and Sabah Reform Party president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan among others.
However, there was no apparent representative from Parti Warisan Sabah, the newly-formed local opposition helmed by former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
Meanwhile, Lajim also reiterated his position that the coming election should be led by local opposition parties and asked peninsula-based parties not to contest.
Lajim, who was the Pakatan Harapan leader in Sabah dealt a blow to his former alliance when asking them to “give space” to the local parties to contest, in exchange for support at the national level.
“They should not stand and give us the chance to take on the BN in straight fights,” he said, acknowledging that that was the biggest hindrance in winning the elections.
“Let them concentrate on winning over voters in peninsular Malaysia. The sentiment here is very local-based now.
“PKR and DAP are also strong and have supporters in Sabah but it would be better for local parties to stand in the seats.
“Let’s say PKR is strong in Penampang, so maybe we can put our candidate there and have their supporters vote for us. Let us take on the responsibility to win the seat with the help of their supporters,” he said.