Bawin questions Larry’s motives in attacking Baru

Nicholas Bawin

KUCHING: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak acknowledges Julau MP Larry Sng’s disappointment for the way the party is being run by its state chairman Baru Bian, but queried his (Larry) ultimate agenda.

In a press statement entitled “What motivates Larry Sng?” today, PKR Sarawak secretary Nicholas Bawin said his chairman Baru Bian, would not respond to the type of allegations and accusations that Larry has been making against him in his Facebook.

“However, now that it has been printed in the newspapers, I feel compelled to respond publicly as secretary of the party,” said Bawin.

“It seems that Larry is unhappy about certain matters and he wants the world to know it. The posting he made a few weeks ago about YB Baru’s inaction in the case of the allegations about his political secretary in the process of the party election was the first. Larry wanted YB Baru to dismiss his political secretary immediately.

“Everyone knows that as a lawyer who respects the process of law, YB Baru will not dismiss a person summarily upon mere allegations made against him or her. YB had made it clear in a statement that the proper procedure must be followed and the law should be allowed to take its course. Even laymen know about the proverbial maxim that a person is deemed to be innocent until proven guilty.”

He urged the people too not to compare this case with the one where the Minister dismissed his aide for putting his (video) phone up the skirt of a lady.

“Comparing would be silly because the evidence in that case was clear. The case against Baru’s political secretary is not so straightforward, especially as the PKR is in the midst of our elections.”

Bawin said Larry could have called Baru if he was unhappy about this matter, but Larry chose to blast Baru in his Facebook.

“Many of us were surprised and shocked that he made those self-righteous comments advising our chairman what to do, considering that he has just joined the party.”

According to Bawin, the second thing Larry was unhappy about is the fact that the sudden spike in membership of PKR Julau branch is being challenged.

“Again, Larry should accept that this is a legitimate process, according to the constitution of the party,” he added.

Bawin pointed out that the members of any branch have the right to register objection to new membership and Julau branch had registered their objection to the suspicious sudden and drastic increase in membership, in accordance with party guidelines.

“The fact that the name of the state assemblyman from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was among the names registered during that single day gives the branch reasonable grounds to lodge a protest,” said Bawin, in referring to Meluan assemblyman Rolland Duat who had already denied the claim.

Bawin said he understood that the party’s Central Election Committee (JPP) is investigating the complaints by Julau branch, and they should be allowed to complete their task.

“Why does Larry assume that YB Baru is behind the whole thing? Any reasonable person would expect that the existing members of a branch would smell something fishy if their membership increased by over 12,000 members in one day, including the name of a GPS state assemblyman.

“It is an insult to the intelligence of the branch head and his members that they are like robots under YB Baru’s control. They have the right to object. Nobody has the right to stop the investigation, and no right-thinking person should want to do so. Due process must be allowed to take its course without interference by anyone.”

Bawin said: “Larry has taken to issuing threats in our party chat group if his members are blocked from voting. He should remember that he is now in Party Keadilan Rakyat, the People’s Justice Party. Justice must be for all, the rakyat and also members of our party. There must be no attempt to thwart the investigation, and Larry must be prepared to accept the decision of the JPP if any wrong had been committed.”

As for Larry telling Baru to focus on people’s issues and corruption, Bawin said PKR Sarawak is amused that Larry should think he is qualified to tell Baru what to do in these matters, knowing his history and past association with the top echelons of Barisan Nasional (BN) Sarawak.

“It is extremely interesting that he should talk about corruption when all the world knows where Larry came from. Larry and YB Baru can let their track records speak for them, in this regard.

“It is clear from Larry’s impetuous Facebook postings is that he is very much given to making assumptions about people. He assumes that YB Baru’s supposed ‘inaction’ in the matter of his Political Secretary means that YB does not take corruption seriously.

“He assumes that YB is behind the investigation into the membership spike of Julau. Larry should stop making assumptions and have the maturity and decency to pick up his phone and call YB to discuss whatever he is unhappy about.”

Bawin stressed that Baru has led PKR Sarawak since 2009 compared to Larry who has been in the party for four months and therefore he would not know the rules of behaviour and etiquette within a party.

“I do not know how his former party SWP was run, but he is now a member of PKR and not the president of SWP. There is a proper way of doing things, even without the need for written guidelines. Common decency and courtesy demand a certain standard of conduct that unfortunately escapes some people.”

In noting that Baru is always ready and open to talking with party members, Bawin questioned Larry’s motives for launching his attacks on Baru in Facebook and issuing similar statements to the press.

“If he wants to portray that he is the best leader for PKR Sarawak or is trying to impress the party leaders in KL, he should not do so by making wrong assumptions and leveling allegations against others. To be a leader, one needs to show leadership, and have a track record of leadership.

“Most importantly, one needs to have support and respect from the grassroots and one’s fellow party members. Throwing one’s weight around and creating discord is not the way to do it. Respect is earned, and there is no shortcut.”

Meanwhile, when contacted to comment on the statement issued by Bawin, Larry said PKR Sarawak leadership is attempting to complicate the issue.

“Baru Bian is weak on corruption. His political secretary has been accused and a case has been lodged with MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission). Still he chose to keep him.”

Larry claimed that Baru’s attitude and inaction is no different from former Prime Ministers and BN chairmen Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Pretending not to know. Secondly, his actions shows that he doesn’t have confidence in Sarawakians which is why he chose a person from Pahang as his political secretary, knowing full well that Sarawakians are under represented in the cabinet and political appointments.”

“Thirdly, I am with team Rafizi (PKR deputy president candidate Rafizi Ramli) and have been briefed about Baru Bian and supporters’ effort to sabotage Julau.”

“Fourthly, Baru Bian is aligned to (Datuk Seri Mohamed) Azmin Ali (another PKR deputy president candidate) and his supporters have been attacking me and my family for weeks.”

Larry said: “For the love of the party, it is only natural for me to voice my opinions in public to fight for Sarawak rights, because PKR Sarawak is not interested in tackling serious issues.”

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