June 30, 2022

Sarawak PKR says will cancel Nov 23 state convention if 'top national leaders' turn a deaf ear

3 min read

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak PKR says it will cancel its state party convention unless “top national party leaders” return democracy to the party.

The statement on Nov 15, signed by Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian (pic) and seven others, including national vice-president Ali Biju, decided to rally completely behind PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

It said that the state chapter has decided to cancel its state convention unless the top leaders “listened to the members”.

The statement did not name the “top national leaders”.

In raising the heat of the current stand off between Azmin’s supporters and those who retracted Azmin’s invitation from officiating the PKR Youth National Convention, the top leaders of Sarawak PKR said it was time for the national leaders to take heed of office bearers who were elected.

Twenty-one of 25 PKR National Youth Wing’s elected leaders had threatened a mutiny, unless Azmin officiates the national youth convention scheduled on Dec 6.

“Sarawak PKR leadership calls on PKR’s top leadership to avert a party crisis immediately. Until and unless it is resolved satisfactorily and democratic principles are restored and honoured within the party, the Sarawak PKR Convention slated for Nov 23 in Miri, Sarawak will be cancelled.

“We are dismayed and disturbed that the Deputy President’s invitation to officiate at the PKR Youth National Convention was rescinded by the PKR Youth National wing leader and all the PKR State Youth Chiefs unilaterally,” said the statement.

It further condemned the top national leaders for not adhering to the wishes of more than two thirds of elected PKR Youth National office bearers who signed in protest against the retraction of the invitation.

“This unilateral decision by a handful of leaders to rescind the invitation shows no respect for the voice of PKR members represented by elected office bearers.

“Democracy within the party is now under serious threat and is being blatantly disregarded.

“Where is the principle of ‘one member one vote’? If left unchecked, disregarding this will make PKR’s democratic principles an embarrassing farce.

“As responsible leaders, this crisis must be arrested now before it leads to the total fragmentation of the party which we have struggled to put together in the name of democracy and justice,” said the statement.

Besides Baru and Ali, the others who signed the statement were state deputy chairman Baharuddin Mokhsen, state vice-chairmen Willie Mongin and Nicholas Bawn Anggat, state women chiefs Voon Shiak Ni and Nurhanim Mokhsen, and state party election committee member See Chee How.

On Nov 12, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution was alleged to have retracted the invitation to Azmin to officiate the PKR Youth National Convention, despite an invitation letter being sent out by PKR Youth.

The youth national convention will now be officiated by Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is advisor to the PKR central leadership council and Deputy Prime Minister.

On Nov 15, Azmin had stated that he was being silenced by “hidden hands” who do not want him to be heard by PKR members.

In reply, PKR Youth Chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir said it was Azmin destroying the party by airing party problems in public.