Pakatan Harapan lost six of its Sabah leaders today, including three state lawmakers who announced their departure for a new local political platform.
Leading the pack was veteran politician Datuk Lajim Ukin who resigned as Sabah PKR chief, followed by the party’s state secretary Datuk Maijol Mahap, its Moyog assemblyman Terrence Siambun and Sabah Wanita PKR chief Johair Matlani.
Exiting DAP were its Likas assemblyman Junz Wong and its state deputy chairman Joan Goh.
“I am not exiting by myself. I will be joined by several leaders and youths with potential and also other Opposition [members],” Lajim told some 300 supporters who turned up at Yaho Hotel in Sembulan.
The Klias assemblyman added that 11 PKR division leaders were joining him today, bringing the total to 35, or “about 70 per cent” of the state leadership.
Lajim did not name the new party, but buntings at the event read “Harapan Rakyat”.
In his speech, Lajim said a new local platform was what Sabahans wanted, and added that they found it preferable to “squatting in someone else’s home”.
“Everyone we asked, from all walks of life, said they preferred an alliance of local parties. They think that their own house, no matter how small or how big, is far better than squatting in someone else’s home. ‘Kali ini kita cuba parti tempatan’[Translation: We will try a local party this time] they told me.
“As bad as it can be, it’s our own, we are the masters and we hold the key,” he said.
Lajim said they also learnt from the recent Sarawak election that the people were in line with local parties even if they were BN component parties.
“As a local party, their chief minister and the political parties were heroes and gave confidence to the people and they won big,” he said, referring to the BN which swept 72 out of 82 state seats in the May 11 polls.
“It’s time we unite under local Sabah parties who not only can take over as government but benefit us and reinstate our rights,” he said.
Siambun in his speech said he will be hopping on board the new unnamed party started by former Umno vice-president and Semporna MP Datuk Shafie Apdal and which last month succeeded in convincing Penampang MP Darell Leiking to relinquish his post as PKR vice-president.
“I will continue my political journey with YB Darell and Datuk Shafie on a local platform which can best represent Sabah’s needs,” Siambun said.