Monday, January 10, 2011

Bian retains Sarawak PKR chief’s post

A fierce SMS campaign to scuttle Baru Bian's bid to head Sarawak PKR ended in vain when the party announced his re-appointment.

KUCHING: Prominent native customary rights (NCR) lawyer, Baru Bian, has been reappointed to helm Sarawak PKR for a second term despite rumoured dissent and disatisfaction in the party over his leadership.

Speculations were rife that Bian might not be appointed as there was intense lobbying for him to be replaced with another PKR leader.

PKR de factor leader Anwar Ibrahim was said to have been bombarded with a “fierce SMS campaign” urging him to remove Bian who had held the post for slightly over one year.

According to a party insider, some of the “SMS messages” were believed to be the work of BN people who wanted to see discord among the PKR leaders and members in Sarawak.

He said Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and other BN leaders were fearful of Bian as he (Bian) had been fighting for the rights of the native landowners whose NCR lands were seized by the government and leased to their cronies.

He said there were also PKR members who sent messages to Anwar warning him that if he did not reappoint Bian to his current post, many of the current members would leave the party.

“Many of the messages said they did not want to see what happened to Sabah to happen here,” he said, referring to several PKR members in Sabah who left the party due to a row over the choice of a leader.

Bian was also recently appointed as vice-president of the party.

Gaining momentum

Meanwhile, Bian, in thanking the party leadership for reappointing him, said: “This is very important because what we have done in preparation for the upcoming state election must not be disrupted.

“Cooperation among Pakatan Rakyat members, non-governmental organisations, supporters and sympathisers in preparing for the election is at an unprecedented level.

“We must thrive to gain (greater) momentum in the next three months.

“With my appointment now made official, I will endeavour to work together with our colleagues, party leaders, members, sympathisers and supporters to ensure the historic political victory we all desire after 30 years under a rotten regime of a man and his cronies.

“May God bless and bring to reality our sincere and righteous will and desire for a change,” he added.

Taken from Free Malaysia Today

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