By : RAYMOND TOMBUNG
BOYCOTT..... PKR Tuaran division has threatened to boycott Wilfred Bumburing if the central council insists on fielding him in Tuaran.
TUARAN: A rebellion is brewing within Sabah PKR that threatens to see a mass exodus of PKR leaders and members from the party over national deputy president Azmin Ali’s rejection of the candidates announced by Tuaran PKR chief Ansari Abdullah on Thursday.
Following Azmin’s dismissal of the line-up of seven PKR candidates in areas under Ansari’s control (from Kota Belud to Putatan), an emergency meeting of the PKR Tuaran division was held last night to discuss the Sabah-Kuala Lumpur discord.
Sources, requesting anonymity, told FMT here that the overriding mood in the meeting was deep disappointment with the PKR central command.
The PKR central command is now being accused of showing its peninsular over-domineering attitude, denying Sabah leaders of any measure of autonomy in the decision-making process at the top level.
Related to this conflict is the prickly question of whether Kuala Lumpur will choose Angkatan Perpaduan Sabah’s (APS) chief Wilfred Bumburing to contest the Tuaran constituency in place of Ansari.
Bumburing is the incumbent having won the seat under the Upko-Barisan Nasional banner in 2008.
One division member laments that Bumburing had from the beginning pledged to Dr Chong Eng Leong and Ansari that he would not seek candidacy for the Tuaran parliament seat, and would be satisfied to stand in the Tamparuli state constituency.
One Tuaran member had even presented a long list of reasons to Anwar on why it would be unwise to field Bumburing.
According to the member, who declined to be named, the list included their view that Bumburing had a lesser potential of winning compared to the more popular Ansari..
Ansari, he claimed, had been working very hard in the constituency, getting countless BN members to join PKR.
This is in contrast to Bumburing’s effort which was primarily recruiting followers into APS which is not even a political party.
“Having left Upko, he had lost the support of Upko, PBS and Umno members who voted him to Parliament in 2008.
“And now if Ansari is not allowed to contest it is likely that Ansari’s supporters will not vote for Bumburing. So he [Bumburing] will have a very small number of supporters,” the member said.
Last night’s meeting saw a resolution being passed that should Bumburing be made to stand for the Tuaran parliamentary seat, the Tuaran PKR members will not vote for him.
“They may even be a high possibility of some leaders and many members leaving the party and joining other opposition parties.
“I, for one, have been personally approached by leaders of another opposition party, even coming to visit me in my house,” said another Tuaran division member.
He said he had texted Bumburing, chiding the latter for going back on his word about never vying for Tuaran parliamentary seat but the man “ had not replied to me”.
“Words are flying about that Bumburing is not sincere in his affiliation with PKR as proven by his and his group’s refusal to become members of the party.
“We suspect that he will convert his APS, an NGO, into a political party and use that as a new vehicle to accommodate any number of seats he will win using PKR tickets. This is plain theft.”
Asked what the division is planning to do, he said they will wait for the announcement of candidates from Kuala Lumpur by April 12 before deciding what to do next.
Meanwhile, a source from APS said that Ansari had known that the candidacy for Tuaran had been promised to Bumburing by Anwar himself, hence the desperate pre-emptive announcement of the seven candidates by him two days ago.
“There is a high possibility that the group of seven will rebel by leaving the party and contest as independents if they are not chosen as candidates,” the APS source claimed. (FMT)