State parties from both Barisan Nasional and the opposition are extending their invitation to the three PKR state assemblymen – Baru Bian (Ba’Kelalan), See Chee How (Batu Lintang) and Ali Biju (Krian) – should they decide to leave and join local platforms like their counterparts in Sabah.
This follows the resignations of top leaders from Sabah PKR, notably its chairman Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin, who quit the Peninsular-based party to form his own local-based party to champion Sabah rights.
State BN component Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said it is best for the three PKR assemblymen in Sarawak to quit.
Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said there was no point for them to remain in PKR since the Peninsula-based party was formed out of an agenda to push for its de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be the next prime minister.
“I am not surprised after reading of PKR YBs (assemblymen) quitting the party in Sabah. PKR has no real objective except to topple UMNO which had unceremoniously gotten rid of Anwar Ibrahim.
“PKR was established only as a vehicle for Anwar to avenge what UMNO did to him. It is vindictive fight, that’s all.
“There is no reason why Sabah and Sarawak should get involved in a fight between Peninsula personalities, unless PKR members just want a vehicle to get elected and become YBs. That would be a lame excuse to contest,” said Masing.
Meanwhile, two local parties PBDS Baru and Sarawak Reform Party (Reform) are also aware of the political trend in Sabah and the possibility of it spreading to Sarawak.
PBDS Baru president Cobbold John Lusoi said the party would gladly accept these PKR lawmakers, except for See, who is not a Dayak.
He said that Baru was formerly a supreme council member of the original PBDS before its deregistration as a political party in 2004, while Ali was once its ordinary member.
“PBDS Baru hopes that Dayaks from PKR, and also DAP, would seriously consider a local Sarawak party instead of supporting a Malaya party,” he said.
Reform president Lina Soo said the party would welcome any members of Peninsula-based parties to join them and participate in their political agenda to seek compliance for the Malaysia Agreement and restore Sarawak as an equal partner to Malaya in the federation.
“Though this trend has just surfaced in Sabah, I hope Sarawak politicians will also come to realise that only Sarawak’s interests and rights in Malaysia can be protected on Sarawak party platforms,” she said.
A total of eleven office-bearers quit Sabah PKR and the DAP on Sunday, including three assemblymen.
So far, both leaders of PKR Sarawak and DAP Sarawak were not ready to comment as of press time.
Samuel Aubrey, firstname.lastname@example.org