Top posts

Featured Posts

Leaderless PKR Sabah call for autonomy

Joe Fernandez

Eighteen out of 26 PKR divisions in the state agreed on holding a secret ballot soon on whether party chief Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail should continue to head the state chapter.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR chiefs, by an overwhelming majority, have reportedly endorsed an informal plan to “demand full autonomy for the state chapter from the party headquarters”.

The consequences of a rejection of the autonomy demand, according to a high-ranking party insider privy to the decision by the Sabah PKR division chiefs, are “a foregone conclusion subject to the right timing”.

The reference point for the autonomy demand is a Sept 16 gathering last year here where three Pakatan Rakyat leaders pledged that Sabah would have autonomy from their respective parties and that “the people of Sabah, and no one else, will make important decisions in a Pakatan government”.

The three Pakatan leaders were cited as de facto PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim, DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang and PAS leader Nasaruddin Mat Isa.

The autonomy plan, according to the key insider, also follows “a series of calculated insults directed, allegedly deliberately and recklessly, at the state chapter since of late by the party’s national leadership”.

The thrust of the autonomy plan, it was revealed, is contained in a paper in Bahasa entitled, “Memorandum dan Isi Hati Pemimpin-Pemimpin PKR di Sabah (Memorandum and Innermost Thoughts of PKR Leaders in Sabah). The paper is currently in the hands of the national party leadership.

Except for eight divisions, the other 18 Sabah/Labuan divisions signed the memorandum, it was disclosed. The exceptions, led by Kota Kinabalu, were revealed as Penampang, Papar, Keningau, Tenom, Semporna, Tawau and Labuan.

Four of the 18 signatory divisions – Kudat, Putatan, Pensiangan and Kalabakan – are currently being led by their deputy division chiefs acting as division chiefs.

In underlining the push for autonomy, the memorandum highlights the fact that Sabah, separated by 1,500 miles from Peninsular Malaysia, has a “political culture that’s not only different from other states in the Federation of Malaysia but unique”.

There was also further consensus among Sabah division heads on holding a secret ballot soon on whether party chief Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail should continue to head the state chapter.  Wan Azizah assumed the post in January this year and had been widely expected to step down three months later.

Minutes altered

Still on Wan Azizah, the Sabah chiefs want a special disciplinary committee to be set up to probe allegations that the minutes of an early January state meeting in Kota Kinabalu were doctored to read that the party chief should lead the local chapter until the general election was over.

Those at the meeting, stressed the insider, “recall that Libaran division chief Thamrin Jaini had proposed that Wan Azizah step down by April 1 to allow a local to head the Sabah chapter.”

PKR vice-president Fuziah Salleh, elsewhere, appears to have incurred the wrath of the Sabah PKR division chiefs.

They want her to “stay out of Sabah unless she’s on a private visit or on vacation in the state”.

It’s known that she has been playing an emissary role of sorts in Sabah since just before the previous national headquarters-appointed state chief, Ustaz Pajudin Nordiin, defected to Sabah Umno and political oblivion.
These key details, among others, were the main focus of an informal meet of the Sabah PKR chiefs in the state capital. However, it’s not known when and where the Sabah party chiefs met.

“We had no choice but to go ahead on the question of autonomy after six division chiefs shot down a proposal by Ranau on July 29 (last Friday), at a state leadership council meet here, to hold a secret ballot on Wan Azizah’s position,” said the insider who requested anonymity “to preserve party unity”.

“The Friday meet was chaired by Wan Azizah. She refused to put the proposal to a vote.”

The six division chiefs – Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Keningau, Beaufort, Pensiangan represented by an acting division chief and Penampang – instead were “adamant that Wan Azizah should stay on as Sabah chief until the next general election”.

Of the six divisions in favour of Wan Azizah, Pensiangan and Beaufort are among the division chiefs who have signed the memorandum.

Tenom, Semporna, Tawau and Labuan, who refused to sign the memorandum, were also not among those, at the Friday meet, who were in favour of Wan Azizah staying on as Sabah chief.

The Friday meet was attended by all division chiefs except Tuaran and Libaran. Tuaran, however, sent a representative.

The meeting, continued the insider, failed to endorse the stand taken by the party’s national political bureau (NPB) on July 26 to leave the leadership of the Sabah chapter in local hands.

Anwar refused to meet division leaders

The July 26 meeting, it has been reliably learnt, merely confirmed the minutes of the July 20 NPB which recorded de facto party chief Anwar Ibrahim’s proposal for Sabah PKR to be led by a Sabahan.

Anwar’s stand, which sets no deadlines and omits the implementation strategies, is nevertheless seen as an about-turn somewhat  “after a calculated insult directed days earlier at the Sabah division chiefs”.

On July 17, Anwar stopped over in Kota Kinabalu for over an hour en route to Tawau from Kuching.
According to the insider, 16 of the 18 divisions who signed the memorandum, waited at Kota Kinabalu Airport to see Anwar “with a list of grievances” but the de facto party chief refused to come out from the departure lounge to see them.

Apparently, he was being accompanied by the Kota Kinabalu and Papar division chiefs then for his visit to Tawau.

The Libaran and Kinabatangan division chiefs, among the signatories of the memorandum, were reportedly not at Airport to attempt to see Anwar as they were in their respective divisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog