PKR supreme council member Ansari Abdullah, who has been with the party for 14 years, claims PKR failed to honour its promise of autonomy to Sabah divisions.
PENAMPANG: Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition of which PKR is a member, has been accused of not being sincere in wanting to return political autonomy to Sabah.
Ansari Abdullah, the Tuaran PKR chief, said the party in rejecting three-quarters of the candidates proposed by the seven divisions in the Sabah west coast north zone, showed that the party’s headquarters was adamant about maintaining control of the state from Kuala Lumpur.
“The seven proposed candidates’ names which were announced recently is not my list. It is not Ansari’s line-up. It was the decision made by the respective divisions in the west coast north areas,” he said late yesterday.
“We were promised of the autonomy to make decision as stipulated in the Buku Jingga and Kuching Declaration. Unfortunately, three-quarters of the list was rejected.
“Of the seven candidates, only two made it. Sad to say, the party has failed the [sincerity] test.
“PKR has failed to show its sincerity, failed to show that it is practising autonomy.
“So today, all of us will have to go back to our respective divisions to explain the situation and will make a decision on any future undertaking.”
He denied that he was being a sour-grape over not being nominated for a seat.
“The real issue here is not about me being a candidate, it is about us being promised autonomy but autonomy is not here.
“It is about the division making a decision, but the decision is not respected. It is about the promise to treat us as equal partners,” he said.
Betrayal and insult
Ansari made the comments after chairing an informal meeting here yesterday together with several divisional leaders and members who are dissatisfied with the newly-unveiled PKR candidates’ list by Sabah PKR chief Ahmad Thamrin Jaini, in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, two days ago.
Ansari made a preemptive attempt the day after the dissolution of Parliament to push through the seven divisions’ list of candidates which included himself for the Tuaran constituency.
The other proposed candidates were surgeon and activist Dr Chong Eng Leong (Sepanggar), Mazhry Nasir (Putatan), Anthony Mandiau (Kota Marudu), Mursalim Tanjul (Kudat), Saidil Semoi (Kota Belud) and Jonathan Yassin (Ranau).
Only Anthony and Jonathan were selected by Sabah PKR.
Describing the outcome as a betrayal and an insult to its members, Ansari, who joined the opposition party 14 years ago, said those to blame were party leaders who allowed newcomers into the party.
He was referring to the party leadership’s decision to allow two non-governmental organisations – Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) by headed Wilfred Bumburing, the former deputy president of United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation, and Pertubuhan Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPPS), led by former Umno supreme council Member Lajim Ukin – to contest under the party’s symbol.
Bumburing will be contesting in the Tuaran parliamentary and Tamparuli state seats, while Lajim is set to defend his Beaufort parliamentary seat. He is also contesting in the Klias state seat.
“If I am the president of the party, I will not give the symbol to a non-member. You have betrayed the PKR members for giving the party’s symbol to somebody who is not a member,” said Ansari.
“When I was the state PKR chief, I made a PAS member who was a candidate for PKR to fill in the membership form because I do not want to allow a non-member to contest under the PKR symbol.
“This is a question of principle, party and discipline,” he said.
Bumburing ‘a liar’
The decision to accommodate APS and PPPS forced the PKR leadership to drop many of its senior Sabah leaders including Ansari himself.
Ansari described the APS as “liars” for failing to honour its promise to not field any candidate in the 13th general election (GE13).
“Wilfred [Bumburing] is a liar. When he announced his support for PKR, he said, ‘I am here not to become candidate. I am here to help PKR. I am not interested to be a candidate’. He said this in the past, and I have all the paper-cuttings to support this. But today, you can count how many candidates it has… meaning he is a liar.
“I do not see anything he did as helping PKR… maybe he helped to kick us out. We look at it in two ways, it is either he is lying or probably someone had forced him to be a candidate, thus making that person a liar.
“For us, we have a party and constitution. Most of the division chiefs are hurt.
“They are questioning how can a NGO which is not registered as a political party be involved in politics. It is against the law.
“It is also intriguing that the government is aware of this but it is not taking any action… or is this also part of its plan?” asked Ansari.
He stressed that he would not be a candidate in this election.
“I promised my people that I will only be a candidate under PKR and nothing else, but PKR feels I am not good enough.
“I will not be a candidate for this election, so you can take the issue of me becoming a candidate, or to contest as an independent candidate out, because my decision stays… I will not contest in this election.”
Asked if he would be supporting the candidate for Tuaran, who is Bumburing, he replied: “I am a PKR member, a PKR divisional head and a supreme council member. I will assist PKR members who are contesting, wherever they are.
“I am a lawyer, I am a member of this party and I have the legal and moral responsibility to help PKR members fielded in the coming election,” he said.