Leap-frogging with dinosaurs


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 14 Aug 2012

Veteran politicans: Lajim and Bumburing (below) who are Anwar’s new recruits in his quest to take Putrajaya.

The recent defections to PKR among politicians can be likened to a football club buying players who are about to retire instead of giving a chance to promising young Sabahans.

ON Thursday, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that another Sabah politician would defect to PKR during the weekend.

At that time I was in my hometown Kota Kinabalu and, with Bari­san Nasional and opposition politicians, I went through the usual suspects of potential frogs.

The next day a Sabah Umno MP whatsapp me, asking if so and so was on the list of jumpers. One of the names was Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap, a vice-president of Upko (United Pasokmomogun Kadazan­dusun Murut Organisation which is a Barisan component party).

I replied: “Can’t be as Maijol had quit Upko two weeks ago.”

That night I pondered. And the clue to Anwar’s political tease was the venue of the big jump - Kota Marudu.

Who in Barisan was eyeing the Kota Marudu MP seat of Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, deputy president of PBS (Parti Bersatu Sabah which is a Barisan component party)?

Maijol wants a rematch. In 1999, as a Barisan candidate he lost to Dr Maximus, the PBS incumbent.

I whatsapp the Umno YB: “I think it is Maijol as the venue is Kota Marudu. But I don’t think it is him unless Anwar is desperate enough to recycle stale news.”       

And Anwar did.

On Sunday the big news was Maijol quit Barisan to join the opposition.

And a senatak was born. (Senatak is a word that Twitterer @ERIC_KSLAW had coined. It is the marriage of two words - Senator and katak.)

At a press conference after Maijol’s “jump”, Anwar again teased: “more notable Sabah Barisan personalities will cross over to the opposition camp in the coming months”.

“On whether we expect more (crossovers), my answer, of course, is yes,” said a beaming Anwar, as reported by an online news portal.

The opposition leader’s statement gave the impression that he was not done with frog hunting. It also gave the impression that PKR was only interested in dinosaur politicians.

If PKR was an English football club, it was like buying Sabah players who were about to retire instead of giving a chance to promising young Sabahans.

However, yesterday when I was on Twitter chatting with young Sabah PKR leaders they said that party deputy president Azmin Ali had promised that it would field young leaders.

On Sunday, inspired by Maijol’s jump, I tweeted: “I’m sure young Sabah voters are impressed with PKR’s new dinosaur politicians. Some have been in politics longer than the youths have been alive.”

There’s a question mark whether the new players Anwar had “bought” are Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs (who at 39 years old is playing superbly) or Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher (who at 34 years old is as fast as a donkey).

Yes, Anwar’s new recruits, Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin (formerly an Umno supreme council member) and Datuk Wilfred Bumburing (a former Upko deputy president), – to use a football metaphor – can dazzle with their dribbling skills.

In 1994 I saw Lajim and Bum­buring dribble past PBS defenders (party die hards) to ditch the ruling party to join Umno and Upko respectively.

But 18 years later, now that Lajim and Bumburing have once again “tukar baju” (a Sabah political term which means to change party), I do wonder if they can win the game for PKR.       

Their reasoning for leaving Barisan is as smart as a Pentium 486 processer.

Check out this story in an online news portal: “It has taken Beaufort MP Lajim Ukin 18 years to realise the prevalence of corruption, abuse of power, Umno’s internal strife and that issues affecting Sabah and Sarawak have yet to be resolved.”

As Maijol jumped, opposition supporters cheered as if he was Pandelela Rinong Pamg, the first-ever female Malaysian Olympian medallist.

So I tweeted: “If (former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad) Khir Toyo was to join PKR, would opposition supporters embrace him like how they embraced the Sabah frogs?”

Not everybody was impressed with the triple jumpers.

@AdrianNCF (Adrian Ng) tweeted: “Pakatan Rakyat welcoming these froggies to their fold. But Q is do they need these froggies to win GE13? So winning GE13 is all that matters? Even if x credible?”

If you are (politically) hungry, not-so-tender frog meat will taste like Putrajaya.

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