PKR is a thorn on Taib Mahmud's side and the party should foresee more restrictions against its personnel's entry into the state.
KUCHING: More than DAP it is PKR that Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is worried about. And rightfully so, because PKR is seen among Barisan Nasional (BN) circles here, particularly his Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) party, as ‘Umno’ and wily Taib is aware of how thin a line it is that divides the two.
Even within Taib’s own ‘inner’ circles are Umno sheeps in PBB clothings.
Since last April’s state elections, BN and Taib’s personal cybertroopers have been keeping an extra close eye on the opposition, particularly PKR’s movement in the interiors where together with Radio Free Sarawak, they are ‘influencing’ BN’s ‘fixed deposit’.
Common knowledge here is the fact that peninsular-based Chinese-majority DAP has ‘limited’ influence but PKR’s reach is seen as ‘limitless’.
Sarawak BN allies – Chinese dominant Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) and Dayak-based Sarawak Progressive Democratic party (SPDP) and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) – are all facing an uphill battle in fending off an stronger opposition.
Prior to April 2011, Sarawak BN were unilateral ‘rulers’ of the state.
But post polls, SUPP is crippled holding only six state seats – four of which are held by its Dayak elected representatives (reps).
SPDP has booted out four renegade state reps and one MP who’ve formed a “BN club” and PRS is now seeing its past returning to haunt them in the form of Sarawak Workers Party.
DAP now has 13 seats and PKR three – Batu Lintang, Krian and Ba Kelalan. PKR lost a fourth seats in Senadin (held by SUPP) by a controversial 58 postal votes.
Going into the 13th general election, Taib can only guarantee his (PBB) 14 parliamentary seats plus a few on the side from SPDP, PRS and independents.
So keeping at bay opposition leaders, strategists and sympathisers from peninsula Malaysia is a plan worth trying out.
Azmin’s aide deported
Yesterday PKR deputy president Azmin Ali’s top aide was barred from entering Sarawak.
Mohd Hilman Idham, who arrived at Kuching International Airport upon at 9.30am yesterday was promptly ordered to return to Kuala Lumpur on the 11.50am flight. He was told that he had been blacklisted by the State Security Office of the Chief Minister.
It’s not the first time Sarawak immigration has barred individuals deemed ‘dangerous’ to state.
In the past several Pakatan Rakyat leaders including those from civil societies have been barred from entering the state.
They include activists such as S. Amiga, chairperson of Berish 2.0 and 3.0, Harris Ibrahim, B.K. Ong, Maria Chin Abdullah, and politicians like R. Sivarasa and Mazlin Aliman of Pas.
In an immediate reaction to Hilman’s boot-out, PBB supreme council member Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said anyone planning to “create disunity and instill hatred” would continued to be barred from entering the state.
“If they (peninsula-based opposition) want to play divisive politics, do it in their own backyard. It’s our rights to allow or bar …we exercise it according to our will,” he said.
Azmin allowed in
But Azmin however was allowed in earlier today. Azmin arrived here and proceeded peacefully to a hotel here to launch the party’s Sarawak-level election strategy called Sismep 3.0. Azmin is PKR’s national election director.
Commenting on the Hilman’s deportation, Azmin said: “It will not deter us from continuing our struggle. In fact we are more determined now to ensure that Sarawakians will get the best option in the coming general election.
“If they (BN) are strong, why must they deport any leaders either from Pakatan Rakyat or civil society from entering Sarawak?
“They should allow us to come in. After all we are all Malaysians, and certainly responsible Malaysians.
“I don’t think PBB and BN understand this because they try to curb the right of the people to speak.”