PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has expressed confidence that the Opposition in Sabah will work together to ensure one-to-one contests in the next General Election in the state.
She pledged to continue to engage with all parties in the state on the reformasi (reformation) ideals. “I will be the driving force to bring together all in Sabah and Malaysia against the Barisan Nasional (BN).”
Wan Azizah, who is also parliamentary Opposition leader, was disclosing that she had assigned Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, her Chief of Staff, to meet party leaders in Kota Kinabalu this week. The move comes in the wake of defections from Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers in Sabah to local Opposition parties.
“We must ensure our preparations for GE14 are not disrupted,” she stressed.
“We will be guided by the party Constitution in filling positions left vacant by recent departures.”
Referring to Sabah Opposition Leader Lajim Ukin’s decision to leave PKR, Wan Azizah recalled that her party was the first to recognise Sabah rights.
This includes compliance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), Borneonisation, and autonomy, she added. “We were the first to recognise Malaysia Day.”
The PKR Chief agrees with Lajim that political parties in Sabah must have a local emphasis. However, she pointed out, that should be no excuse to abandon the parties on whose tickets lawmakers were elected.
Delving into details, in the wake of the defections, Wan Azizah said PKR’s 26 divisions in Sabah and Labuan “remained strong and functional.”
“It was individual leaders who left the party,” she said. “They didn’t go far since they would still be with the Opposition, albeit with local parties.”
Wan Azizah went on to say that after 18 years, and various ups and downs, PKR was the only party for all on a multiracial and progressive platform.
“We are the only party in Malaysia’s history to have elected representatives in every state, from every ethnicity,” she said.
She attributed this to the strength of PKR as the most inclusive party. “That unique strength will not be lost on Sabahans,” said Wan Azizah.
FMT Reporters Online