Saturday, 3 November 2012

Trouble in Sabah: PKR’s ‘ori’ vs ‘photocopies’

Anwar Ibrahim must come up with a quick solution to douse the growing resentment between original members and newcomers

KOTA KINABALU : There’s  a new catch-phrase greeting in Sabah PKR’s political circles and it is greatly divisive. The greeting is “PKR ori” or “PKR photocopy?”.

“PKR ori” refers to genuine members of the party while “photocopy” addresses those with Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) and Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS) who “refused” to be members of PKR.

APS is led by Tuaran MP who was once deputy president of Upko, Wilfred Bumburing, while PPS is by Lajim Ukin, a former federal deputy minister, who is also Beaufort MP.  Lajim was with Umno and is often referred to as Umno’s westcoast warlord. Their ‘defection’ was much heralded by opposition Pakatan Rakyat.

These parties are now “parked” under Pakatan and and have declared their support of Anwar Ibrahim, PKR’s de facto leader.

The “ori” and “photocopy” catch-phrase is rising in popularity within PKR in Sabah.

Anwar must already be aware of its effect on his party, more so now after last night’s ‘revelation’.

Last night Bumburing was supposed to “launch” his APS for Sepanggar at a clubhouse in Inanam but only about 50 people turned up, according to PKR insiders in the division.

Bumburing was disappointed and embarrassed. And so too was PKR Batu MP  Tian Chua. Both were on their way to Inanam when told of the poor turnout.  Eventually it was  former senator Maijol Mahap who delivered Bumburing’s speech, eye-witnesses claimed.

Tian Chua is now expected to discuss with his national leadership on how to negotiate this new challenge, resulting from PKR’s “multiple-marriage” with APS and PPS.

Observers here are already questioning whether this political arrangement is counter-productive to the opposition party.

Political sabotage imminent

At last night function, it was learned that a sole “representative” from “PKR ori” in the Sepanggar division found himself in an awkward position, not knowing anyone present.

He told his friends “his mood just evaporated”.

Meanwhile a state PKR leader who declined to be named said there was an urgent need for  PKR’s top leadership to address the “ori” and “photocopy” issue, as it was now dividing the hard-earned unity within the party in Sabah.

Sabah PKR has been, for years in a tumultuous situation,  especially when Sabah rights advocate Dr Jeffrey Kitingan was in it.

“This is not a laughing matter. This is a real issue in PKR.

“What made thing worse is that these “PKR photocopy” claimed and behaved as deciders and “the power’ in the party. You can feel the uncomfortable alliance between the two groups in Tuaran, Kota Marudu, Kota Belud and in other areas too,” he alleged.

Insiders said in some areas, leaders of APS and PPS were telling their people that their leaders, and not the “PKR ori” would be chosen as candidates in the impending general election. This has made the situation more difficult, further confirming that there is growing animosity and unfriendly gestures.

In many PKR functions, the groups sabotage each other. Rival leaders would not want the other group’s function to be a as successful.

And last night’s function in Inanam was one example.

In fact the only time when the two groups come together is when Anwar is present in a function. During that time both groups try to outdo each other by bringing in more of their respective people, and claimed credit for it.

Anwar, according to insiders, may already have a plan. Members of Sabah PKR are eagerly awaiting for the Anwar solution, which could come in the form of a compromise or give-and-take arrangement.

But what is obvious is that Anwar must come to Sabah and with a solution in hand to meet these divided supporters. He can no longer postpone solutions as election draws near.

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