KUALA LUMPUR: We are not threatening but put the party right and give us our promised autonomy, a majority of Sarawak PKR division chiefs and state PKR leaders tell their national leaders.
In a show of forceful defiance, 32 Sarawak PKR leaders flew from Kuching to hold a press conference led by Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian to ask party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to save the party from "manoeuvring" politicians in the state.
"We would like to clarify that our collective statement was in no way intended to be a threat.
"We are genuinely dismayed and disturbed by recent events that have betrayed our party's principles of justice and democracy. As much as other national leaders wish to portray the narrative that the retracting of the invitation to officiate at the PKR Youth Convention was merely a move away from tradition, we must remind everyone that 21 out of 25 elected youth leaders had opposed the retraction (of invitation letter from Deputy President Datuk Seri Azmin Ali).
"And yet, this was ignored in favour of appointed youth leaders," said Baru.
Surrounded by a majority of the state PKR leaders, Baru - who is also the Works Minister - said that he rejected dirty politics, citing "sweetener deals" and "plots to oust him as the Sarawak PKR state chief".
Those who attended claimed that they represent about 20,000 PKR members in their divisions in Sarawak.
"We are very disappointed with our national leaders who have dishonoured our gentlemen's agreement that PKR in Sarawak and Sabah are to enjoy autonomy in all state matters.
"A state convention comes under the purview of the state but the decision by headquarters to proceed with the state convention blatantly ignores the wishes of the majority of the state leadership and breaches the autonomy agreement.
"We strongly urge the top leaders to close ranks for the sake of the party and to respect PKR Sarawak's autonomy in making decisions involving the state," said Baru.
On Nov 15, Baru had led a group of top Sarawak PKR leaders to cancel the state convention due on Nov 23, stating that they did not agree with the move to rescind Azmin's invitation to officiate the PKR Youth Convention.
National Convention Director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said that the convention will go on in Miri as scheduled.
A list of branch leaders supporting the continuation of the convention was also circulated.
Azmin had claimed the rescinding of the invitation, allegedly by "hidden hands" guiding PKR Youth Chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir, was an attempt to "silence" him from speaking to members.
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