- Published on Sunday, 16 June 2013 13:14
KOTA KINABALU: Klias assemblyman Lajim Ukin, the PPPS president, has been made the Opposition Leader for Pakatan Rakyat’s state elected representatives. Sabah Pakatan holds 12 seats in the state assembly.
Another single seat – Bingkor – is held by Jeffrey Kitingan, who helms the Sabah State Reform Party (STAR).
Within the Pakatan coalition, PKR secured the most number of seats.
Both Lajim and former Upko deputy president Wilfred Bumburing, who won the Tamparuli state seat, contested on a PKR ticket.
Lajim and Bumburing quit from Barisan Nasional last July and setup their own NGO platforms PPPS and APS respectively and pledged support for PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.
State PKR secretary Dr Roland Chia, who himself will head the opposition secretariat, said in addition to Lajim’s election as Opposition Leader in the States Legislative Assembly (DUN), Api Api assemblywoman Christina Liew will be PKR Sabah’s chief whip.
Speaking to reporters in a news conference yesterday, Chia who is the Inanam assemblyman disclosed that the Pakatan Rakyat Sabah Secretariat, mooted by Lajim, had a discussion on the matter during a meeting here on June 13.
The meeting, he said, 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 13 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 is that a vote should be made among the lawmakers.
“The votes were casted and the opposition leader was elected based on the majority votes garnered which is (Datuk) Lajim,” he explained.
Chia said the method was adopted after State Assembly Speaker Salleh Said had said that the appointment of an opposition leader is not stipulated in the state constitution or in the state assembly standing orders.
“That is why we proceeded on June 13 to select our leader based on votes and (Datuk) Lajim who garnered a 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 (PKR) Malaysia, (Datuk Seri) Saifuddin Nasution and also sent to Sabah State Speaker,” Chia said.
He added that the recommendation was made by PKR’s secretary-general because Lajim is not a PKR member and Pakatan Rakyat “is not a registered” party.
On the opposition secretariat, Chia said that its role is to coordinate with the two party chief whips and other opposition lawmakers with regards 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.
Meanwhile Lajim said that he will be announcing the opposition’s shadow cabinet tomorrow.