THERE are moves to oust Works Minister Baru Bian as head of Sarawak PKR with the use of statutory declarations and offers of money, the state party chief revealed today.
Baru said the plan would have likely been executed at the state party convention, scheduled for this Saturday, which he has now cancelled with the support of the majority of members in the state leadership council.
“We are aware that this move to remove me as chairman of the Sarawak leadership council was planned to be executed during this Sarawak PKR convention.
“This goes against the democratic principles the party stands for and we reject such insidious moves,” Baru told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
“Huge amounts of money (are) being offered to ‘sweeten the deal’,” he added.
Baru said he has the support of 19 Sarawak PKR division heads to remain as state chief.
He also urged the national leadership to close ranks for the sake of the party, and to respect Sarawak PKR’s autonomy in deciding matters for the state chapter.
Baru today insisted that Sarawak PKR’s convention scheduled for this Saturday in Miri will not go ahead, despite warnings from PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
He said the national leadership first has to resolve issues affecting the party’s democracy and justice, in reference to the Youth wing’s move to uninvite deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali from officiating its annual congress next month.
Sarawak PKR insists on cancelling convention to protest party’s problems
SARAWAK PKR is to defy party national leaders by cancelling its annual convention, until problems in the party are resolved, state chairman Baru Bian said.
This is despite directives to go ahead with the meeting.
He said Sarawak PKR was disappointed that the national leadership had “dishonoured our gentlemen’s agreement” that the Sarawak and Sabah chapters of PKR would have autonomy in all state matters.
“A state convention comes under the purview of the state but the decision by HQ to proceed with the convention blatantly ignores the wishes of the majority of the state MPN and breaches the autonomy agreement,” he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
Baru, who is also works minister, said the issues in PKR now, although stemming from the party’s youth wing retracting an invitation to PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali to officiate its congress next month, had become a problem affecting PKR’s principles of justice and democracy.
He said decisions made through consensus by elected leaders, had been superceded by appointed office holders.
“As much as other national leaders wish to portray the narrative that the retracting of the invitation to officiate at the Youth convention was merely a move away from tradition, we must remind everyone that 21 out of 25 elected Youth leaders had opposed the retraction.
“And yet, this was ignored in favour of appointed Youth leaders, not elected Youth leaders.”
Baru and other Sarawak PKR leaders had recently announced the cancellation of the party’s state convention in Miri this Saturday.
Baru said the decision to cancel was made through consensus of a majority of the state leadership council and was not his opinion alone.
The move to cancel was then slammed by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, who said no one should threaten the party.
PKR state conventions director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad also told Sarawak PKR should proceed with its meetings as agreed between state and national leaders.
“We want to state clearly that this is not a threat but merely a need for our top leaders to resolve the party’s crisis and take into serious consideration the voice of elected members who represent grassroots party members,” Baru said today.
With Baru were 16 out of 19 party Sarawak division chiefs who support cancelling the state convention. PKR has 30 divisions in Sarawak.
Baru, however, said that of the state leadership council’s 46 members, 32 supported cancelling the convention.
“This is a clear majority.”
He said the majority included 17 divisional heads, as well deputy divisional heads, MPs, assemblymen other state party leaders.
He said if the remaining division chiefs and others who did not agree with cancelling the convention were still to go ahead with the meeting, the state leadership would not take any action.
“If they want to go ahead with the meeting, let them,” Baru said.
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