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ARKIB : 07/01/2004

Aliandu's sacking as People's Development Leader not right - Lajim

KOTA KINABALU Jan 6 - Terminating the services of any community leader, especially People's Development Leaders, at this time is inappropriate as the state election will be held soon, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Lajim Ukin said Tuesday.

"What is important now is to enhance unity among members of the ruling coalition, particularly UMNO, the backbone of the state administration.

"At a time when we are gearing up for the state election, there should be no sacking of any UMNO leader holding a post at the grassroots level," he told reporters.

Lajim, who is also an UMNO supreme council member, said this when asked to comment on a local press report that the services of the Lahad Datu People's Development Leader, Aliandu Enjil, had been terminated early this month.

Aliandu, a staunch UMNO supporter since the party spread its wings to Sabah in 1991, is said to have received the service termination notice on Dec 31 last year from Lahad Datu State Assemblyman Datuk Samsu Baharum Abdul Rahman.

His sacking takes effect on Jan 1.

Samsu Baharum, who Monday confirmed sending the termination notice, said the Director of the State People's Development Leader Unit, Aliasgar Basri, would send an official notice to Aliandu soon.

"We are going to face the state election soon and I don't think Aliandu will sabotage UMNO because he is an UMNO man. I think this is linked to personal problems between the elected representative (Lahad Datu) and Aliandu.

"Yes, we will win in the election given the absence of a credible opposition but we must remember that the sacking will to a certain extent affect the election preparations as Aliandu is a party activist," he said.

Lajim said the sudden termination of Aliandu's services with only a few months to go for the state election was inappropriate.

"The political situation in the peninsula and Sabah is different. In Peninsular Malaysia, if someone is an UMNO man, he will remain in UMNO but in Sabah, an Usno man can switch to UMNO and a Berjaya man can change his support to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

"According to the Sabah political history, these people will try to topple the party in the election...this is what we want to avoid," he said.

Asked whether Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had given his blessings to Aliandu's sacking, Lajim said he had not received any information so far.

According to procedures, only the Chief Minister had the powers to appoint and rescind the services of a People's Development Leader, a political appointment.

"What the Lahad Datu State Assemblyman should have done is to apply to the Chief Minister to end Aliandu's services...I'm not sure whether this has been done," he said.

Urging Aliandu and Lahad Datu residents to be patient in facing this problem, Lajim said: Wait until the Chief Minister makes a final decision."

Meanwhile, Aliandu said he accepted with an open heart Samsu Baharum's proposal to terminate his services.

He said he was leaving it to the discretion of the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, to determine his position as the Lahad Datu People's Development Leader.

"Whatever decision the Chief Minister takes, I pledge my undivided support to him as Sabah Chief Minister and State UMNO liaison chief.

"As UMNO's founder in Lahad Datu, I will be loyal to UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN)," he said in a statement Tuesday.

As the Lahad Datu People's Development Leader for almost 10 years, Aliandu said he would continue to cooperate and support the Lahad Datu elected representative to provide the best service, bring development to the people and solve the problems they faced.

"There are times my actions have been misinterpreted. Nevertheless, all the actions are for the people's welfare and to strengthen the government and the BN which I support," he said.

He said he would continue to support Samsu Baharum to provide the best service to the people and to ensure BN's victory in Lahad Datu and Tungku state seats as well as the Silam parliamentary seat.

Aliandu said he had discussed with Aliasgar and had decided to apply for leave from Jan 12 to Feb 28 which had been approved.

Aliasgar, in a statement, said the services of a People's Development Leader can terminated without giving any reasons.

"Normally, the state assemblyman will recommend the appointee and his termination for the Chief Minister's consideration and decision.

"The Chief Minister will consider the reasons for the recommendation and make a decision on his discretion," he said.

As such, Aliandu's position as the Lahad Datu People's Development Leader would be decided by the Chief Minister who is still on leave, he added.

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