Saturday, 15 October 2016

Rumour about local PKR leaders is no surprise to state BN

SIBU: The ‘hot rumour’ about three local PKR leaders leaving the peninsular-based party to join a local party – Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) presents no surprise to the state Barisan Nasional (BN).

It is said that these PKR leaders want a stronger voice, seeing that they could not do so if they stick to the same platform.

Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah wasn't surprised with the rumours stressing that ‘anything is possible in politics’.

“Who would imagine an ex-Umno and BN chairman Tun (Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) is now ‘hugging’ his nemesis (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim), (Lim) Kit Siang and (Lim) Guan Eng?

“It is the same with Sarawak PKR leaders. We could see them out of PKR – who knows one day, they might be sitting with us in BN,” said Abdul Karim, who is Asajaya assemblyman and also a supreme council of PBB – the state BN backbone party.

Adding on, he reckoned that state PKR leaders would need to relook their struggle.

Abdul Karim also pointed out that what Sarawak and Sarawakians needed and hoped for now would be for political parties and leaders to fight for the return of state rights, which appeared to be diminishing over the years.
He said PKR or DAP were Peninsular Malaysia-based parties and the local leaders were mere minnows in their respective main supreme councils.

“Their voices are too small to make any headway in the decision-making. It is better for them to show solidarity with local ruling parties, or be in local parties where their struggle would be much more appreciated by Sarawakians,” said Abdul Karim.

Meanwhile Assistant Minister for Urbanisation Datuk Talip Zulpilip who is also PBB vice-president also said the rumours did not surprise him at all, in view of what had been happening in Sabah.

“Even DAP could be affected, so we have to wait and see for further developments.

“It stands to reason the rumour. Local PKR leaders have seen how they have been affected by the goings-on in the peninsula and at times, they are not well heard by the majority over there.

“So the reluctance of Sarawak (PKR) leaders to continue under the domination of their HQ (headquarters) is understandable. They would have a stronger voice if they are a power in Sarawak as a Sarawak-based party,” he said.

Senior vice-president of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) – formerly known as Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) – Datuk Paul Igai said he was inclined to think the shift was still a rumour, even though it was the leaders’ democratic right to choose.

It is rumoured that state PKR chairman Baru Bian, its deputy chairman See Chee How and vice-chairman Ali Biju were the three local opposition leaders who had met PBK leaders to talk about the matter.

Speculations are believed to have been spun right after Sabah politicians quit their respective peninsula-based parties such as DAP, PKR and Umno to join local parties, championing local issues and the state’s rights.

In a surprise move, PBK which has been inactive since its formation in 2013, on Wednesday announced the launch of its branches in Lanang here and in Miri.

PBK Lanang secretary Franky Anong, when contacted, had neither admitted nor denied anything – he declined to make any statement with regard to local PKR leaders joining PBK.

Franky, however, pointed out that the party would make some major announcements that would affect the state’s political scene and even that of Sabah either by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, pending finalisation of ongoing negotiations.

He stressed that PBK had its own political ideology and struggles and would not be working together with former premier Dr Mahathir or any other national party.

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