KOTA KINABALU: Datuk John Ghani’s abrupt resignation from Sabah PKR was an emotional decision, says the state chapter’s newly minted chief Datuk Sangkar Rasam.
Sangkar also brushed aside contentions by John that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s decision to appoint him (Sangkar) as the new chief will end up splitting the state PKR and cost them the coming general election.
“I think John has misjudged the leadership’s decision and action following the party’s polls,” he said when contacted on Saturday (Aug 13).
“Misjudgement can sometimes be caused by emotions and also influences from outside the party,” he added.
Sangkar said, however, the new Sabah PKR leadership council respected John’s decision to quit the party. He wished well for the veteran leader, who has been with PKR for 18 years.
“It is natural that political leaders will come and go,” he said, adding he is confident there will be capable leaders to take John’s place.
“We pray that he will be happy with his decision and wish him success with any route he’s taking,” he added.
John, 72, had on Friday (Aug 12) said that he was leaving Sabah PKR, citing unhappiness over Anwar’s timing in appointing a new state chief and his inability to mend the rift in the state chapter.
John, who was the assemblyman for Kuala Penyu with Usno in 1985 and as an Independent in 2004, said he was relinquishing his post as a Sabah PKR vice-chairman as well as adviser to the party’s southwestern Beaufort division.
He said party members had put faith in the Port Dickson MP to resolve the long-drawn state leadership tussle when he was in town a week ago.
Instead, he said, Anwar made things worse after dropping Datuk Christina Liew, who has been with the party for 20 years, by naming the virtually-unknown Sangkar as the new Sabah PKR chairman, in an announcement on Aug 6.
He claimed the appointment will further split members and cause them to lose the Putatan and Tawau parliamentary seats the party won in the 14th general election (GE14).
Sangkar had, in December last year, led 16 state PKR divisional leaders in a revolt against Liew’s chairmanship, calling for Anwar to remove the former Sabah deputy chief minister as the state party chief.