Clarification on Malaysiakini article published on May 2, 2009

Attached please find KEADILAN Secretary-General's clarification on an article published in Malaysiakini on 2 May 2009. The published article, titled “PKR changes poll strategy in Sarawak”, by Tony Thien contains claims and speculations that was not endorsed or approved by the Party.

I wish to clarify a couple of points that were made in a recent article, which appeared in Malaysiakini on May 2, 2009.  The article was published under the title “PKR changes poll strategy in Sarawak”, apparently authored by one Tony Thien. I confirm that the piece is pure speculation. There was no directive to this effect from the Party leadership.  Clearly, therefore, the article appears to be the work of paid spinners in an attempt to establish the credibility and shore the waning popularity of his or her paymaster.

First, the article speculated that KEADILAN “has reorganized its Sarawak leadership to strengthen the opposition party ahead of the state elections due in the next two years.” 

Second, it then proceeded to speculate further that a number of party members have been entrusted with responsibilities “for getting support from the various major ethnic groups in the state.” To this end, Mr. Baru Bian was said to be responsible for the Orang Ulu, Mr. Granda Aing was said to be entrusted to Bidayuh areas and Y.B. Gabriel Adit was said to have been given the job of strengthening support from the Iban community. 

I shall comment on the second speculation first.  Here the article claims that certain individuals have been  selected to elicit support from ethnic-based groups in Sarawak.   

The names of Party members mentioned in the article are persons of talent and good character, and the Party appreciates their various contributions to the Party so far, as it also appreciates the input of so many others  to KEADILAN political struggle in Sarawak.

However, the claims that they have been given various ethnic-based responsibilities have no basis for the following reasons.

First, KEADILAN is a multi-racial party and, as a matter of policy, KEADILAN does not single out individuals for duties based on their ethnicity.  Second, there were simply no party appointments as speculated in the article. These attempts to continue dividing the people of Sarawak are misleading and despicable.

The other speculation that KEADILAN “has reorganized its Sarawak leadership” implies that this is a static move, which will not be subject to further changes or adjustments for some time. Unfortunately, this speculation also falls short of the truth.

As a political organization, KEADILAN undergoes a continuous process of  organisational development as it meets the changing priorities and challenges ahead. The party-building process is  common to all political parties whose leadership knows that they have to change with the times. 

KEADILAN welcomes ideas and suggestions, particularly constructive ones that will help strengthen the Party, provided that they are not in conflict with its ideals and policies. Also, KEADILAN welcomes new members and have been greatly encouraged with the number of new applications for membership from Sarawak as well as from Sabah.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat