Hit by defections, Liew promises trustworthy PKR candidates for Sabah snap poll

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 01 Aug 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR will finalise its list of candidates for the Sabah elections next week, promising to be “extra careful” in its choice of candidates this time round.

With two of its assemblymen and one MP defecting, Sabah PKR chairman Datuk Christina Liew said on Saturday (Aug 1) that they were in the process of gathering the names of potential candidates.

“We will assess them carefully.Every name we receive, we will screen their background thoroughly, ” she said, adding that assessment would include education, financial situation and political inclination, among other things, ” she said.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with leaders of the Inanam PKR division, whose assemblymen Kenny Chua were among 13 government assemblymen who defected on Wednesday, Liew said the move was necessary to ensure that trustworthy and credible candidates stand in the election.

She said the decision on the candidates would be done by the party's bureau election committee.

Despite initial denials, Chua threw his support behind former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman who tried to topple the Parti Warisan Sabah-led coalition government of Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal through a spate of defections by assemblymen from Upko, DAP and Warisan.

Earlier in March, PKR’s Ranau MP Jonathan Yasin defected along with with Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali’s group.

Another nominated assemblymen Jafari Walliam also joined the assemblymen backing Musa's group.

"I admit I was mistaken in recommending Jaffari as a nominated elected representative for PKR. As for Chua, I am disappointed with him. This is a serious matter, and he did not consult us, ” Liew said.

She also said Shafie’s decision to go for a snap election was the right call as it was best for the people to decide who they wanted to govern them.

The Sabah Pakatan Harapan chairman also said they would be discussing seat negotiations with their partners DAP and Sabah Amanah before making known their choice to Shafie, whose Warisan leads the coalition in the state together with Upko.

"This election will be challenging but I believe the people are with us. Imagine if this (mandate) is not given back to the people to decide, it would be unthinkable, ” she said.

In the last state elections, Sabah PKR won two state seats out of the nine state seats it contested and picked up three parliament seats from the six contested.

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