June 28, 2022

Dilemma over Sarawak PKR candidates list for state polls

2 min read

MIRI: Sarawak PKR is aiming to contest 40 of the 82 state constituencies in the coming 12th state election but a dilemma has emerged over the list of potential party candidates.

This follows the latest tiff between PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and state party chairman Baru Bian over the state party convention held in Miri on Saturday (Nov 23), which was attended by the latter and some 1,200 state and national party members. Noticeably absent from the convention was Baru.

A PKR delegate from Baram told The Star that Baru may find himself losing the right to decide on the candidates.

“Baru Bian is preparing his list of candidates for the 40 state seats that PKR is aiming to contest in the coming state election.

“There are now attempts by those in Sarawak who are opposing him and who are loyal to Anwar, to make sure Baru Bian will not have the autonomy to select the candidates from his camp.

“They want Anwar to have the final say over who in Sarawak PKR will contest in the coming state election,” said the delegate who was at the convention in Miri.

Baru has openly aligned himself with PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali who has fallen out with Anwar.

Baru had last week cancelled the Sarawak PKR Convention in Miri but Anwar overruled him and entrusted the task of holding the convention to Miri PKR branch chief Michael Teo Yu Keng.

Teo had earlier this year contested against Baru for the Sarawak PKR chairman post during the party’s state general assembly but failed to unseat him.

Anwar on Saturday kickstarted the PKR state elections campaign by launching an attack against the Sarawak state government over allegations of corruption and unfair land policies.

He, however, did not mention anything about potential PKR candidates for the coming state polls.

The deadline for the 12th state polls is June 2021 but it is said that Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg and his ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government may hold a snap poll by middle of next year.

Out of the 82 state assembly seats, GPS controls 67, the Opposition holds 10 seats, Parti Sarawak Bersatu have four seats and there is one Independent.

On the Opposition side, DAP has seven seats while PKR has three.

Baru had earlier this year said Sarawak PKR wants to at least contest 40 seats at the next state polls.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chien Jen had said his party was eyeing 29 seats while Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu says they plan to contest 13 seats.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia has also entered the fray and is eyeing several Malay-majority seats in the Kuching and Samarahan divisions.

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