Sarawak PKR to break up if Baru not re-appointed as state chief?

Analysis by Simon Peter

Supporters and observers of Sarawak chapter of PKR are anxiously waiting who will be the new state chairman over the next three years.

Will Works Minister Baru Bian still be  appointed to hold the post that he has held since 2009? Or will the party central leadership appoint another person?

Baru Bian, will  he be replaced as Sarawak PKR chief?
The  chance of Baru, the Selangau MP and Ba'Kelalan state assembly, to be re-appointed does not look really good.

At a just concluded party congress, the newly elected president Anwar Ibrahim openly chided Baru for being absence from the congress.

Baru's explanation was that he had  already informed the party secretariat that he was unable to be present due to work commitment  which was also held on the same day as the congress.

Whether or not Anwar was informed of Baru's message, he did not tell.

The rebuke, of course, did not go well with Baru's supporters and even Sarawakians, in general. Instead, they pointed out that Anwar should train his eyes on those who used money to gain power and secure more votes in the party election.

It is not Baru's absence from the congress that will destroy the party, but those who use money to secure power will.

Ultimately, party supporters and the people will lose confidence in PKR if money politics is allowed to control and manipulate the party, just like Umno, MCA and MIC did.

Based on the reports lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), there is no denying that money politics was widely used in the party election throughout  the country.

Sarawak PKR has claimed to have devastating proof of corruption  in Julau during the polling day on November 10.

Will PKR members in Sarawak allow themselves to be controlled and manipulated by money politics?

In appointing who will be the next Sarawak PKR chief, the central leadership, including Anwar, cannot just dismiss the views of the branch chiefs on the state chairmanship.

We cannot see he will over-ride the views of the branch chiefs and the feedback from the grassroots, unless he wants to see a new person to be the Sarawak chief, for whatever reasons.

Baru's support from the branch chiefs cannot be taken lightly.  Out of 29 branches in Sarawak, 24 of them supported Azmin Ali for deputy president while another five backed Rafizi Ramli.

Among the branches which gave their support to Azmin was Lawas which elected Baru as its chairman.

The support of the Sarawak chapter of PKR to Azmin was decided by the state liaison committee chaired by Baru.

Baru, therefore, has a great influence on the 25 branches into supporting Azmin.

If someone were to be appointed the new chairman, that person must have the support of these 25 branches.

That person must not be someone who threw his support to Rafizi. It will be a political harakiri if the central leadership decides to bulldoze the appointment of someone from among Rafizi's supporters.

If there is anyone to succeed Baru, it has to come from Team Azmin or else, we can expect strong objection from the 25 branches.

One branch leader has already made his objection known should pro-Rafizi PKR member is picked to be the next chairman. He said he is not alone in the objection.

A chaotic Sarawak PKR, of course, is a welcome news for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS). Voters don't normally give their support to parties in crisis. Why should they, anywhere. If parties can't manage their own affairs, then they don't expect people to support them.

And of course, the powerful Sarawak DAP may find unfamiliar person taking over as the Sarawak PKR chief as uncomfortable to work with.

And Sarawak DAP members and supporters, deep down their hearts,  may even have their preference who they want to be the Sarawak PKR chief.

Simply,  Sarawak DAP wants to capture the state government in the next state election, and the lest they want to see is a component party in Pakatan Harapan embroiling in crisis over the choice of Sarawak PKR chairmanship.

Sarawak PKR in crisis is surely a bad news for Sarawak  PH, something the Sarawak DAP does not want to see. - November 20 2018

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