Wednesday, January 22

Talks of defections by Sabah leaders fizzle out

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KOTA KINABALU: The talks that six Sabahan leaders would be defecting to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) yesterday had fizzled out.

Yesterday, the whole country was abuzz with speculations that PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would be revealing the identity of the six leaders at a press conference after a news portal carried the story about the expected defection.

But yesterday Anwar came, officiated at a public forum entitled ‘Citizen Rights- Constitutional and Religious Perspective’ and gave a press conference without any major announcement. He later attended PKR Sabah’s fund-raising dinner.

When asked during the press conference if there was any communications with those individuals, the opposition leader replied, “of course we have communications with many people. We meet so many individuals from time to time, including some of those people who are mentioned. That’s it.”

When asked if he can confirm the news articles about the Sabahan leaders switching alliance, he said that he did not make that statement.

He was also asked if he expects UPKO deputy president and Tuaran member of parliament Datuk Wilfred M Bumburing to join PKR, Anwar replied: “That you should ask him”.

According to Anwar, he was supposed to attend a function in Kota Belud which he and Bumburing had been invited to.

“However, I had to cancel my trip to Kota Belud because my flight which was scheduled to arrive in Kota Kinabalu at 1pm, had to be diverted to Labuan and was delayed for two and a half hours.

“I was invited together with him (Bumburing) but I was not able to make it.  I was supposed to make it there (Kota Belud) by 3pm but because of the rain I arrived (in Kota Kinabalu) about 5pm,” he said.

On the changes which he had said would be coming from Sabah, Anwar said that the state had seen greater sort of awareness and people were becoming more critical.