By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Dec 4: PBK refutes rumours that the party has been receiving projects through a top PKR Sarawak leader who is linked to a top PBK leader through marriage.
Describing the rumours as “malicious and slanderous”, Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan stressed that the rumours contained no truth at all.
The rumours allege that PBK through one of the party founders has been receiving federal infrastructure building projects from the top Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader.
“I don’t know what really transpired between the said PKR leader and our founding leader because they are in-laws. From what I know, they have no contact. I was assured that they have no political contact, neither family contact.
“That is very slanderous, malicious because they (some quarters) want to tie PBK to support from PKR or PH (Pakatan Harapan).
“But no. We are independent. We are not aligned with GPS; we are not aligned align with PH; we are not aligned with DAP (Democratic Action Party); we are not aligned with (Datuk Seri Wong) Soon Koh’s (Parti Sarawak Bersatu president) group. No, we are independent,” Voon told DayakDaily recently.
Meanwhile, on the seemingly “elderly leadership” within the party, Voon said there are young professionals leading the party.
“But they are all working people. So they cannot come to the press conference. This is the reason why they don’t appear. Only those who have retired, they will appear,” explained Voon.
PBK has been criticised as “a party for the elderly” because their leaders who appear at press conferences are mostly retirees.
Voon readily admitted that it was true that those attending press conferences to support him are retirees and it is precisely because they are retirees, he said, that they have the time to attend press conferences.
He claimed that there are young professionals who are in their 30s and 40s who are PBK members and leaders in Sibu and Kuching.
Voon says he understood how the perception that PBK is made up of the elderly came about.
“They are the ones fighting for independence in 1960. After they realised that fighting for independence during that era was could not be done in the conventional way, they registered the party in 2008, and was approved together with a few parties in 2013. So all these people who founded the party, they are elderly — sixty plus, seventy plus.”
Voon said over the years after the registration of the party in 2013, the former leadership had been looking for potential leaders to lead the party.
Many politicians, according to Voon, had approached former top PBK leaders to take over the party but to no avail due to diverse political ideology.
He added that in the initial stage when Voon was approached, he only agreed to participate as an advisor. Later, however, many including him and other professionals as well as retired government servants joined and assumed leadership roles.
“Of course, one or two of the founders are still with us, guiding us, to be with us. We want them to be with us. One reason is because this party belongs to them,” said Voon.
PBK under former president Yu Chin Liik applied to register as a political party in 2008 and the application was approved in 2013. — DayakDaily