KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR chairperson Christina Liew has refuted claims that the party is currently divided into two camps —one supporting the leadership of de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and another that wants to see Azmin Ali taking over the party’s top post.
Speaking to reporters after submitting her nomination papers for the party election today, Liew said she had been monitoring the news and was dismayed at the suggestions that the party has two camps dividing the members.
“As far as I know, there is no such thing as two camps. There is only the PKR camp. If this issue is raised because we are heading for a party election, then that is unfair.
“Right now, if for example, PKR members want to challenge me for the post of division chief in Kota Kinabalu, will people look at it as proof that there are two camps in the party?”
The point is, she said, having a party election and seeing members vying for the posts should not be construed as belonging to certain factions.
She said at the end of the day, the party will still remain as one and all members and the leaders will be identified as belonging to one camp, namely the PKR camp.
In Sabah, she said all members unanimously support Anwar as the party president and the party leadership has never mentioned anything about the deputy president posts or the vice-president posts.
“It is up to the individuals who they want to vote. I don’t go out there and instruct division chiefs to vote for certain candidates.
“Actually, I did receive a few texts from division heads asking whose camp we should vote for but I told them as far as I’m concerned, they can vote for whoever they want.
“This is a democratic process,” she said.
Sabah PKR deputy chief Mustapha Sakmud reminded the party members that Anwar actually has always been close to Azmin as he was Azmin’s political mentor.
However, he said in the party itself, leaders are trained to be critical of each other, which is part of the party’s strategy for reform.
“Most of the time, it is a family and friendly type of relationship between Anwar and Azmin.
“Nevertheless, on certain issues, there is a clash of ideas, which some may perceive as rivalry,” he said.
Penampang PKR chief Kenny Chua said the division is currently not looking at any camp but the members have all agreed that Anwar should be the president of the party.
“As for the deputy’s post, we are adopting the wait-and-see attitude now. But for the president’s post, we are going to support Anwar all the way.”
Chua, who is expected to get a stiff challenge from other candidates vying for the top post in the division, said he was confident he will be able to retain the post.
Chua took over the post as Penampang PKR chief after former chief Darell Leiking resigned from the party to form Parti Warisan Sabah together with now Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.