KOTA KINABALU: A prominent Sabah PKR member has warned the party’s top leadership that up to 75% of party members in Sabah will leave the party if their welfare continued to be ignored.
At a press conference today, former Sabah PKR political director Karim Ghani said the majority of party members in the state are unhappy with the party’s current state of affairs.
“They feel they have worked hard prior to the general election but now, they are being discarded by the state leadership.
“I must remind the party that Sabah has the second highest number of members at 150,000, only second behind Selangor.”
Karim said party members are hoping that party president Anwar Ibrahim will put his foot down and take necessary action to improve the situation on the ground.
Otherwise, he believed there will be an exodus from the party with as many as 75% of the members leaving to join other parties, such as Warisan and PPBM.
He said many of the members are unhappy because they have the impression that, after years of service to the party, the state leadership has chosen to favour Warisan, without thinking about the interests of Sabah PKR and its members.
“For example, Warisan was given the bulk of the seats to contest in the previous general election.
“And then now, when it comes to government positions, almost all are filled by Warisan’s supporters.
“We are not even given the crumbs,” he said.
Karim said party members still love the party but they hoped Anwar would take a firm stand and put things right.
He implied that the current state leaders are weak and easily bend to the will of Warisan and will probably do so in future to demands made by PPBM as well.
Former Tenom PKR division chief Adris Taripin said he was summoned by the party’s disciplinary board today to the Sabah PKR headquarters simply because he had spoken out against Sabah PKR chief Christina Liew and her leadership.
“I was unhappy because I felt Tenom PKR has been neglected.
“Instead of listening to my complaint, the party has chosen to take action against me.
“This may eventually lead to my dismissal from the party,” he said.
Another Sabah PKR member, Nani Sakam, said all they want now is for Anwar to come and meet the grassroots.
Normally, he said the party president would come, but only meet with the leadership.
“I met him the other day at Parliament but he told me he would attend to this after the Rantau by-election.
“Now, the by-election is over. I hope he will call on us soon. This sort of thing can only be resolved by the president.”
Karim suggested that the Sabah PKR leadership be revamped so that it could become a force to reckon with, especially with PPBM already busy recruiting Sabahans to become their members.
He said PKR should consider a recruitment drive too because it is obvious that the party is not favoured compared with Warisan and PPBM.
He warned if the top leadership failed to take drastic action to improve matters, more members will leave to join other parties.
Liew received the backing of 15 Sabah PKR divisions to retain her post as the Sabah PKR chief last year.
This was by no means a strong backing because 11 other divisions chose not to support her and preferred another leader, Kong Hong Ming, of Tawau.