KUCHING: State PKR chairman Baru Bian has been nominated for the party’s national vice-president post, representing Sarawak and Sabah in the upcoming party polls in May.
Baru, who is also Ba Kelalan assemblyman, said PKR leaders in Sarawak and Sabah had reached an understanding for a candidate to be nominated from among them for the vice-president post to represent the two East Malaysian states.
“I am being nominated to the vice-president post and this is an understanding between leaders of both states,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Baru said that PKR leaders from Sarawak and Sabah felt it was timely for a representative to be nominated from among them to be vice-president considering that the national PKR leadership had verbally agreed to recognise the autonomy of the two states – consistent with the 18 and 20 points Malaysia Agreement.
“We are glad that they amended the constitution to allow this to happen. We want to respond to this and in fact, it is timely for us.”
He also said that Ali Biju, the state PKR vice-president and Krian assemblyman, would be bidding for a seat in the PKR national leadership council.
“In Sabah, they will be putting up at least three nominees for the national leadership council. It will be interesting to note how this will be received by the Peninsular Malaysian voters.”
Baru said the delegates would be voting directly the leadership lineup – from president to national leadership council.
On another matter, Baru said the recent action by the state in allowing several Umno leaders to enter Sarawak to campaign in the Balingian by-election was inconsistent with the state government’s declaration that they would not allow Umno to be in Sarawak.
“This is political rhetoric on the part of the state BN in trying to pacify Sarawakians to vote for locally established political parties but being protective at the same time, saying that Sarawak is for Sarawakians. It is therefore perceived to be consistent with 18 and 20 points Malaysia Agreement.
“But then of course they will say, because of that, we will try to prevent DAP, PAS and PKR leaders from coming to Sarawak. Now they justify that just to support their stand in barring our leaders to come to Sarawak. But then, Umno leaders are coming in and out of Sarawak which is inconsistent.”
Baru believed the bottom line was not whether Umno, PKR or other opposition from Peninsular Malaysia coming into the state but whether local political parties were fighting for the people’s rights,
“I always say this even in ‘ceramah’ – even if the party is registered outside Malaysia, if it fights for your rights and is keen in representing the people of Sarawak, then you should support the party.”