KOTA KINABALU, April 5 — Some 37,000 members of the newly dissolved Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (PHRS) will be joining Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) at the latter’s state level launch tomorrow.
PHRS president Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin said that the party voted to be dissolved at its special meeting today to pave the way for its members to join Bersatu.
“We have 64,000 registered members, but we only managed to get 36,744 members to fill up forms to be given to Bersatu tomorrow,” he said, adding that he expects more to join PPBM after tomorrow.
Lajim is a former Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) leader who left to join Umno in 1994 and then joined PKR in 2012, before leaving to form his own party in 2016. He has reportedly been lobbying for the position of state PPBM leader.
When asked for his reaction if Sulaman assemblyman Datuk Hajiji Noor was named state PPBM chairman at tomorrow’s event, Lajim said he would support whatever decision made by the party for the good of the party’s struggle.
“I will support him. I will abide by the party’s decision which is also Tun’s decision. We will work together in the party. It is not about what position we get but we want to affect change and support new policies,” he said.
“We may argue a lot politically, but personally we are good. In politics it’s normal to fight but be friends. Same goes with other leaders like Masidi, and newer Umno members like Arifin and Ghulam. They were all under me before, and we are friends,” he said, referring to Karanaan assemblyman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, Membakut assemblyman Datuk Ariffin Arif and Kawang assemblyman Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan.
Lajim also said he was ready and willing to work with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal with whom he has had a relationship with since their Umno days.
“We will support their policies, like Tun says, we are here to support the state government. But if any policy goes wayward, we will also remind them. This is for the good of the people at the end of the day,” he said.
“We have also promised Tun that PPBM’s entry will unite the Bumiputera leaders of Sabah and this platform will prevent any division between us, so I believe this is a good move,” he said.
He also said that he was not looking for any positions for the time being.
Lajim, who was previously Klias assemblymen, lost the battle in the 14th general election to retain his seat and could not wrest the Beaufort Parliamentary seat from incumbent Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun. His party also failed to win any seat in GE14.