KOTA KINABALU, July 31 (Bernama) -- Former Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin's decision to quit all party posts is influenced primarily by Pakatan's psychological warfare that they will form the next government after the coming general election.
Describing Pakatan's confidence to achieve the desired goal as a mere political propaganda, Sabah Umno liaison deputy chief Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said Lajim's resignation had nothing to do with Umno's internal problems in the state.
"I believe he (Lajim) does not want to miss the boat... that's why he tried to find an excuse for his mission, but to me, what Pakatan is promising is just a hope or dream," he told Bernama, here, today.
Lajim had earlier announced he was resigning as Umno Supreme Council member, Beaufort Umno division chief and Beaufort Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman with immediate effect.
However, he has chosen to remain an Umno member and as deputy housing and local government minister.
Yesterday, Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was quoted as saying that "what has happened is an internal issue of a personal nature involving Lajim and certain people in the domestic political arena. It should not be linked with a party that has rendered exceptional service to the nation and people."
Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan was also quoted as describing the departure of Lajim from BN as more of a personal problem.
Salleh, who is also Sabah Legislative Assembly Speaker, said the state leadership was always open to discussions on how to strengthen the party and everyone had a role to play.
"The Sabah Umno liaison chairman (Datuk Seri Musa Aman) is very open and accommodative. However, the party must reject leaders who put it at ransom.
"Lajim's political calculation is wrong. All studies conducted by professionals indicate Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's popularity is at a comfortable level," he said, adding that Lajim's departure would not affect BN's strength in the state.
The former chief minister said, "Insya Allah (God willing), Najib's popularity will be able to lead BN to a two-thirds majority in the coming general election."
Salleh said Umno and BN were ready for the general election, which is due to be held soon.