KUCHING: Former Sarawak PKR leaders Baru Bian and See Chee How have joined local opposition party Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), along with a number of their supporters.
PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said the party had no qualms in accepting Baru and See after discovering they had common aspirations for Sarawak’s future in a series of discussions over the past few months.
“The meeting of minds gave us the confidence to work together. Both Baru and See have been playing exemplary roles as people’s representatives.
“We are happy to have leaders of such high calibre to join our party, ” he said at a ceremony to welcome Baru and See here yesterday.
Parti Sarawak Bersatu is not part of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak, the coalition ruling the Sarawak state government.
Selangau MP Baru, who was formerly the state chairman, quit PKR during the political row that led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan-led Federal Government, while Batu Lintang assemblyman See was sacked from PKR last month.
With their entry, PSB now has six representatives in the Sarawak legislative assembly – the same number as DAP – as Baru is also Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.
PSB also has two MPs now in Baru and Sri Aman MP Datuk Masir Kujat.
Baru said more former PKR members were expected to join PSB in the coming days, including over 20 ex-branch leaders.
“Many people have asked why we have chosen to join PSB instead of forming a new party, ” he said.
“There are several reasons but the two main ones are that time is not on our side to register a new party before the next state election and that we do not want to cause a further split among the people of Sarawak by forming a new party.”
Baru added that he and his supporters felt a new party was not necessary after finding that PSB’s aspirations matched theirs.
As a result, he said, Wong had no reservations about accepting their goals for Sarawak, including equality for all regardless of race or religion.
On accusations that he was a “katak” for jumping parties, Baru said he had no choice but to leave PKR once its leaders no longer pursued their original vision for the party.
“When leaders fail you, you would be silly to stay on because that is no longer the right platform for you. That’s how we felt in PKR.
“An intelligent katak will jump, a stupid katak will stay. We need to be wise and prudent, even in our political struggle, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Sarawak PKR chairman Larry Sng said the former leaders’ move to join PSB was expected.
“As far as PKR is concerned, we are glad that we can close this chapter of party disunity and work towards building the foundation of a stronger PKR moving forward, ” he said.
He added that the state PKR would focus its attention on the coming state election and discuss seat allocation with Pakatan Harapan component parties.