Ex-PKR chief Baru joins Sarawak opposition party

Former Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian quit the party in February in the wake of the political crisis.

KUCHING: Former Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian today joined the opposition Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), saying the time is not right to form a new political party and that he does not want to cause another split among the people in the state.

Joining him were Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How and several other members of PKR.

Baru, the former works minister aligned to ex-PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, had quit the party during the political crisis in February that saw the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government and had remained an independent since.

At a press conference here this morning, PSB president Wong Soon Koh said party leaders had held a series of discussions with Baru, the Selangau MP, and his supporters and found that they had common aspirations for the future of Sarawak.

“This meeting of minds gave Baru and See the confidence to apply to join PSB, and we are indeed very happy to accept their applications,” he said.

Baru, who was present, said he had ruled out forming a new party because “time is not on our side to register a new party before the next state election”.

He said he and his supporters shared PSB’s “aspirations for a New Sarawak”.

On allegations that he was a “political frog”, Baru said “politics is dynamic and leaders change”.

“When you are in a political platform and leaders fail to pursue the party’s original vision and mission that you believed in, like PKR for example, we have no choice but to leave,” he said.

He said an “intelligent frog” will have to jump. “We need to be wise and prudent.”

Wong said they had agreed with Baru and See that although the party had identified candidates for most of the state seats, they would collaborate with like-minded opposition parties in the coming election so they could have the majority to form the next state government.

“This would be the start of Sarawak having a real and effective voice in the next parliamentary elections and reclaiming our rightful place in the federation,” he said.

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