PKR's de facto chief however denied rumours that he met up with Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud in Singapore.
KUCHING: Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim has admitted to being in ‘contact’ with some leaders of the Sarawak Barisan Nasional but denied a report that he had met Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud in Singapore.
“My last meeting with Taib was in 2004 when I attended a Hari Raya Open House of former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Kepala Batas.
“I was invited and I came. So that was the last meeting I had with Taib.” Anwar said adding that he had not been in Singapore ‘in the last few months’.
Anwar however admitted that there was “some contacts” between him and “some BN leaders” especially those who are likely to be dropped from the BN list of candidates.
Asked whether anyone from Sarawak was joining Pakatan Rakyat, he said: “If you are talking about contacts, yes.
“If you know my style, if they want to join, it is up to them to make the announcement. I don’t make the announcement… I am not their representative,” he said.
When pressured further, Anwar said: “I think, knowing the problem, knowing the political and economic problems in Malaysia and Sarawak, there are reasons they should leave BN,” he said.
Rumours have been circulating in Kuching that a number of MPs who are likely to be dropped from the list of BN candidates are said to be in contact with Pakatan leaders.
These MPs are from Parti Bumiputera Bersatu, Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party and Parti Rakyat Sarawak.
Rumours are also centred on the five-term MP for Hulu Rajang Billy Abit Joo who had told his friends that he would consult his constituents in the event he is finally dropped as the candidate for Hulu Rajang.
To his close friends, the PRS senior vice-president might consider contesting either as an independent candidate or as an opposition candidate.
His party had told him that he would not be nominated to defend the Hulu Rajang seat.
PRS may instead field Wilson Ugak, who is private secretary to Land Development Minister and PRS president James Masing.
From PBB, nine are said to be dropped as candidates. Among them are the MP for Santubong Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the MP for Mambong James Dawos Mamit, the MP for Mukah Mohd. Leo Michael Toyad and the MP for Batang Lupar Rohani Karim.
As for SPDP’s four candidates, there is an air of uncertainty as the final selection will be made by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who is also teh chairman of Barisan Nasional.
Pakatan to field Lajim, Bumburing?
Earlier Anwar told the press that he briefed the Sarawak PKR leaders on the current political issues including what’s happening in Peninsular Malaysia especially involving Umno and BN.
“That is why I have asked Kadir Sheikh Fadzir (former Umno minister and strongman) as well as Lajim to come and explain the latest (political) developments in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia.
“Tan Sri Kadir has been touring the whole country in the last few months, explaining why he has to leave Umno and BN. We welcome that. In fact, I have suggested that our party gives an avenue for him to speak on issues in Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.
On the resignations of Lajim and Wilfred Bumburing from BN, Anwar said: “They are committed to the reform agenda and they are committed and supportive of Pakatan Rakyat.
“In the case of Lajim and Bumburing, given a chance, they will contest under Pakatan banner,” he added.