Baru Bian: No, no such thing as state leaders trying to remove me

Baru Bian said 19 divisional heads were supporting him to continue as the PKR state leadership council chairman. Sumber (gambar): TTF

Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian today refuted the claim that 18 division leaders had pledged to remove him as the state party head.

“We are fully aware of the characters in Sarawak who are manoeuvring and soliciting the support of several divisional heads in the state to surreptitiously undermine my leadership by replacing me.

Yesterday, Selangau PKR division chairman Joshua Jabeng claimed that 18 out of 31 state division heads had pledged to remove Baru as the state party head.

Joshua claimed that the other division leaders had expressed support for them after Baru and a group of state PKR leaders announced the cancellation of the Nov 23 state party convention.


KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian today refuted the claim that 18 division leaders had pledged to remove him as the state party head.

The Works Minister said 19 divisional heads were supporting him to continue as the PKR state leadership council chairman.




“We are fully aware of the characters in Sarawak who are manoeuvring and soliciting the support of several divisional heads in the state to surreptitiously undermine my leadership by replacing me.

“We know that statutory declarations calling for my removal have been circulated among the divisional heads and that a huge amount money is being offered to sweeten the deal.

“And, we are also aware that the move to remove me as the state chairman was planned to be executed during the state convention.

“This goes against the democratic principles that the party adheres to and we reject such insidious moves,” he said in a press conference, here, today.

A total of 29 division heads and deputy division heads, including Lubok Antu member of parliament Jugah Muyang, Sarawak PKR vice-chairmen Ali Biju and Willie Mongin, were present at the press conference.

Yesterday, Selangau PKR division chairman Joshua Jabeng claimed that 18 out of 31 state division heads had pledged to remove Baru as the state party head.

Joshua claimed that the other division leaders had expressed support for them after Baru and a group of state PKR leaders announced the cancellation of the Nov 23 state party convention.

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Asked why Joshua made such allegations, Baru said he was trying to create the impression that they commanded majority support in the state.

“Well, I don’t know the reason, but it is obvious that when they said that they have the support of 18 division heads, which is a more than 50 per cent support, they are trying to give the image that they have the majority.

“By saying that, they use that information and communicate it to the party president, and they hope the president will change the state chairman (by saying they have the majority),” he said.

There are 31 PKR divisions in Sarawak, and only of them, Tanjung Manis, is without a chief.

Asked whether he would lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over information that money was offered to certain division heads to remove him, Baru said he encouraged those who had received the offer to lodge a report.

He reiterated that the state PKR’s decision to cancel its convention would be maintained because 32 out of the 46 state leadership council members had agreed to the decision.

He clarified that the collective decision was not intended to be a threat.

“Our objection is to have a positive measure to reconcile and resolve the problem in the party.

“This is our concern. Otherwise you are destroying the party. That’s what we are worried of.

“What is happening in Sarawak is very clear to us.

“That’s why we made a statement on the matter. It is not a threat, just merely rising our concern.”

Baru said state leaders wanted the national leaders to put things right.

“People are trying to destabilise us in Sarawak, and that’s not according to the (party’s) constitution.”

He also said that state leaders were disappointed with national leaders who had dishonoured a gentlemen’s agreement that PKR Sarawak and PKR Sabah would enjoy autonomy in all state matters.

“A state convention comes under the purview of the state party, but a decision by headquarters to proceed with the convention blatantly ignored the wishes of a majority in the state leadership council and thus, breaches the autonomy agreement,” he said.

Last week, PKR Sarawak announced that the state convention would be cancelled.

“It came to this decision following the party’s move to revoke Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s invitation to open the PKR Youth National Congress slated for Dec 6.

However, PKR National Convention director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad later said that the state convention would go ahead as planned in Miri.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail was alleged to have retracted the invitation for Azmin to open the PKR Youth National Congress, despite an invitation letter having being sent out earlier by PKR Youth.

Asked whether the Sarawak party leaders were prepared to face disciplinary action by the national leaders, Baru said their actions did not go against the party’s constitution.

“We made our stance. That’s our position.

“If they feel that we had gone against the constitution, it will be up to them to decide.

“We believe what we did was within the confines of the law and I don’t see any problem with it.”

Asked if disciplinary action would be taken against those who had attended the state convention, he replied in the negative.

“We have made our stance. We cancelled the convention as far as we are concerned.

“If it proceeded despite the decision that we made, then we do not have the power to stop them from attending. It’s up to them,” he said.

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