KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR is heading for a total revamp with its interim chief, party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, promising political autonomy.
Wan Azizah, who took over as state chief and set up a PKR presidential council following a revolt against her appointee Pajudin Nordin as Sabah PKR chief, left former Sabah chairman Ansari Abdullah out of all 12 committees formed to draw up agendas for the party’s strategies on various issues for the coming general election.
“He (Ansari) is aware that the decision is based on consensus of state division heads,” she told reporters after chairing the first PKR Sabah’s first presidential council meeting here today.
Ansari, widely seen as leading a faction in the party supporting Pajudin who quit the party to join rival Umno barely a month after his appointment, attended the meeting but left prior to the press conference.“I was offered a position but I turned it down as I wanted to concentrate in my Tuaran division. We accept the decision of the council,” Ansari said when contacted.
Azizah has, however, included other key Sabah PKR faction leaders in the committees.
Among them are former state chief Ahmad Thamrin Jaini who will head the party’s finance security and immigration committee, supreme council member Christina Liew as infrastructure development committee head, former state PKR leader Awang Tengah Awang Amin and Tawau chief Kong Hong Ming who will head the Land Development and Consumer Affairs committees respectively.
“It is the first step towards building a stronger leadership foundation for the party in Sabah with greater emphasis on reaching consensus of key issues,” Azizah said.
The move to restructure Sabah PKR is aimed at helping the party focus on the coming general election expected by many to be called by June. Azizah also took time to pointedly emphasise that her leadership of the state PKR would be temporary as the party recognises the political autonomy of the state.
“I’m here only temporarily. A convention will be held to thrash out leadership issues. The majority will be heard… it depends on how it goes,” she said but declined to commit to a time frame for the state leadership.
Sabah PKR is prepared to talk to SAPP to ensure straight fights in the coming general election.
Azizah also said that her party was ready to talk to local opposition Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) leader Yong Teck Lee to work out a deal that will see the parties cooperating by putting forward a single opposition candidate in the forthcoming general election against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in the state.
She said the parties had learnt from the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election last year when they had lost to the BN candidate after fielding their own candidates.
“Batu Sapi tells us we must talk,” she said.
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