The recent anti-Anwar protest staged by Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth in Sibu appears to have rattled Sarawak PKR, which sees it as indicative of a “violent” general election to come.
According to the state PKR election chief Baharuddin Mokshen, “a lot of pronouncements even from the federal leaders are pointing to this trend”.
“We are worried that the coming general election is not only going to be dirty, but a violent one too,” he said.
Baharuddin was commenting on last Sunday’s unusual protest by 150 PBB Youth members from 10 branches in the central zone against the visit of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.
The 150 protesters carried placards bearing slogans conveying their message that Anwar cannot be trusted.
PBB Tamin branch Youth chief Michael Mew said that Anwar’s visit to the state was to sow hatred and he was not here to safeguard the interests of the people.
“The people in Sarawak have long been living in a peaceful and prosperous environment.
“However, since the presence of Anwar and his political ideology, the harmonious living in many places, including kampungs, has been disrupted.
“The authorities should stop people like Anwar coming to the state,” Mew said.
PKR against protests
Baharuddin said PKR would like to put on record that it objected to activities like protesting.
“We have been pressured by our grassroots members to put up placards saying that [Chief Minister] Abdul Taib Mahmud is ‘zalim’ [cruel], robbing native customary rights (NCR) land and so on. But where does this stop and lead us to?
“We are worried that this type of protests and the pronouncements made by federal leaders will lead to not only a dirty, but violent election.
“I hope the PBB Youth protest is an isolated case and is not being endorsed by the Sarawak BN leadership.
“Unlike the Bersih protest, which was not directed at individuals, the PBB Youth protest was aimed at Anwar,” Baharuddin said.
He denied that Anwar’s visit to Sarawak was to create problems.
“Don’t insult the intelligence of the people. Let them decide who is telling the truth” Alfred Jabu [Deputy Chief Minister and deputy PBB president], Taib or Anwar or Baru Bian [Sarawak PKR chief].
“You don’t decide for the people. This is not the politics of 30 years ago when elected representatives were the towkays,” he said.
Baharuddin added that trying to prevent Anwar from coming to Sarawak is “really an affront to democracy.”
‘BN scared and desperate’
On remarks made by the three former Inspectors-General of Police (IGP) that Bersih protests were influenced by communists, Baharuddin said: “This claim made in 2012 is totally ridiculous.
“These IGPs must be living in the stone age. To me communism is buried and dead. Maybe it only exists in Cuba.”
He said it was commonly viewed here that the three IGPs’ intentions were to “create fear” because “BN was dead scared and desperate”.
“They are definitely scared as they have no issues to talk about. They have made a lot of promises which they could not fulfil.
“Now they are reverting to other issues like intimidation and fear,” he said.
He however warned BN members that every action would be met with reaction.
“But for the time being, we are told not to respond to the protests,” he added.