Sarawak PKR Convention in Miri is off, insists state leadership

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KUCHING, Nov 21: Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state leadership council has reiterated its stand to cancel PKR Sarawak Convention, scheduled this Saturday in Miri.

A letter stating the council’s final decision to cancel the meeting, issued by its organising secretary Iana Akam to all branch chiefs, has been made available to the media.

The letter, which is copied to both Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian and state secretary Vernon Kedit, stated that PKR Sarawak Convention has been cancelled officially, as agreed by the party’s Sarawak state leadership council.

This was also in reference to the stand made by the council, as announced by Baru on Nov 15.

Sarawak PKR leadership aligned with Baru had recently butted heads with the party’s top national leadership after its deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s invitation to officiate the PKR Youth National Convention slated for Dec 6 was rescinded.

It has been a tradition for the deputy president of the party to grace the National Youth Congress which will be held first before the main PKR Convention.

In protest, Baru who is the Works Minister, as well as Selangau MP and Bakelalan assemblyman, had threatened to cancel PKR Sarawak Convention in Miri on Nov 23.

He said the state leadership council, which consisted of 46 members, saw 32 members reaching to a consensus to cancel the convention.

A statement on Nov 15, signed by Baru and seven others including national vice-president Ali Biju, said that unless democracy is returned to the party, the state convention would be cancelled.

However, PKR National Convention director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad refuted this, saying that the convention would go as planned.

Meanwhile, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was reported as saying on Friday (Nov 15) that the decision to not invite Azmin to officiate at the National Youth Congress would remain amid protests from Sarawak PKR leadership.

Meanwhile, on Nov 19, in a press statement, PKR Selangau branch chairman Joshua Jabeng claimed that 18 out of the 31 PKR branch leaders in Sarawak had pledged to remove Baru as Sarawak chief.

In response, Vernon released a list of 19 branch chairmen who supported the leadership of Baru and a list of 11 who opposed Baru, among them, Miri chief Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng.

Yesterday, Dr Teo told a press conference that the PKR Sarawak Convention in Miri would be held as scheduled, with Anwar expected to grace the event. — DayakDaily