I’ve majority support to be Sabah PKR chief, says Liew

Christina Liew (seated third from left), holding the letter signed by 15 Sabah PKR division heads supporting her. With her are Putatan MP Awang Husaini Sahari (seated second left) and other state division heads who support her.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew today hit out at a group of state PKR division heads who questioned her appointment as the state chief.

She said she had the support of most of the 26 division heads.

The Tawau MP said questioning the move to appoint her as Sabah PKR chief was like attacking party president Anwar Ibrahim and the party’s political bureau.

Liew, who is also the state tourism, culture and environment minister, said she had no choice but to reveal the 15 division heads who supported her as state chief.

She said she would consider suing her rivals if they continued to attack her.

“I hope this puts to rest all speculation and concerns that I do not command the majority support in Sabah.

“They are all here and we have a signed statement of support from them.

“I did not want to come out and defend myself like this. But the faction against me kept on attacking me and the president.

“Challenging the decision of the political bureau and the president is unacceptable.”

Putatan MP Awang Husaini Sahari, one of those who backed Liew, claimed the other group had manipulated the results to claim that they had the majority.

Most of the division heads who supported Liew turned up during the press conference and signed a letter declaring their support for her.

The 14 division heads who signed the letter were from Kota Belud, Kota Marudu, Penampang, Putatan, Sipitang, Keningau, Pensiangan, Semporna, Batu Sapi, Kinabatangan, Kimanis, Labuan, Papar, and Tuaran. Liew is the Kota Kinabalu chief.

Kudat PKR division head Rahimah Majid recently said a group of 12 PKR division chiefs in Sabah had voiced their dissatisfaction over Liew’s appointment as Sabah PKR chief.

The others in the group are division chiefs from Libaran, Sandakan, Silam, Beluran, Tawau, Kalabakan, Ranau, Kudat, Tuaran, Sepanggar, Tenom and Beaufort.

Acting as the group’s spokesperson, Rahimah, who is also PKR Supreme Council member, claimed that Liew’s appointment was not in line with the spirit of democracy espoused by PKR.

She claimed that Tawau division chief Kong Hong Ming had the majority support from the 12 divisions against Liew’s 11 while Awang Husaini had three.

Rahimah said they were surprised when the final results were announced and Liew was said to have the highest number of votes and subsequently made the party’s state chief.

She alleged that the three who voted for Awang Husaini changed their allegiance and supported Liew, bringing Liew’s total number of votes to 14 divisions despite the voting process having ended.

To this, Awang Husaini said it was supposed to be a secret vote, adding: “I don’t know where she (Rahimah) got her information from.

“We fully support the decision to give the mandate to Liew. We hope that all division chiefs will respect this decision and move forward together to face challenges in this unpredictable political landscape,” he said, reading a statement.

He also urged the president and the party leadership to take action against any member who questions the decision of the political bureau.