While Sabah PKR grapples with its leadership issues, on the ground disillusioned members are pledging allegiance to someone else.
ENTILIBON: Is Sabah PKR collapsing? It seems like it, at least as far as the “no impact” Kadazandusun Murut community is concerned.
Ironically, it is these people who were the backbone in PKR’s resurgence in Sabah over the last four years.
But the KL-centric PKR seems to be still in denial, going by its vice-president Fuziah Salleh’s recent statement.
Fuziah claimed that the resignation of its former vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan and officials of the party’s KadazandusunMurut Task Force has not impacted the party.
But on the ground, reality tells a different tale.
On Saturday, six PKR branch heads in Kuamut quit the beleaguered party and pledged allegiance to Jeffrey and his new movement United Borneo Front (UBF).
UBF, which was launched in December, will soon lead a Borneo Alliance comprising Snap (Sarawak Nasional Party) and possibly a Sabah-based party aimed at “returning” Sabah and
Sarawak back to its people and demanding that the federal government uphold the terms and tenets in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.
The six PKR branch leaders are from Linayukan, Sanan, Semundoh, Entilibon Asal, Simpang, and Singgahmata near here.
Also on Saturday, 11 Kinabatangan division leaders, led by its secretary, Jalibin Paidi, and information chief, Cyril Parantis, also left Sabah PKR.
These leaders claimed that they have the blessing and support of not less than 800 PKR members in the area.
Together they announced their decision to quit and join UBF at a function here.
Lost confidence in PKR
Entilibon, incidentally, sits in the centre of Sabah and 240 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu. It is a five-hour long and sometimes rough drive.
Entilibon sits within Kinabatangan, one of the country’s largest parliamentary seats in terms of size. It is held by Barisan Nasional’s infamous Bung Moktar Radin.
The division comprises the Kuamut and Sukau state constituencies. Both seats are held by BN – Kuamat (Johnny Intang) and Sukau (Aklee Abbas).
Kinabatangan is not Jeffrey’s first foray into rural Sabah.
Jeffrey has been criss-crossing the state since he left PKR last month. He has been meeting people and explaining his struggle and UBF’s role.
If the crowds are any gauge, he is being well received in many places and at each function scores of PKR leaders and members are pledging their support to him.
Ranau division information chief Jasmin Yumum, who was among those who announced his resignation and support for Jeffrey’s Borneo Agenda, said: “I have lost confidence in the party, both in Sabah and national.”
Another leader Jalibin Paidi said the fiasco in PKR proves that Sabahans cannot and should not rely on others to fight for their rights.
“We cannot rely on the Malayans to fight for us. We Sabahans must stand up for our own rights and assert our position as a nation within this country called Malaysia. We should not wait until everything is shattered in Sabah, then only we cry, it will be too late and useless.
“Now is the time we unite and assert our right,” he said. - FMT