Bian retains Sarawak PKR chief’s post

By Joseph Tawie, Free Malaysia Today

Prominent native customary rights (NCR) lawyer, Baru Bian, has been reappointed to helm Sarawak PKR for a second term despite rumoured dissent and disatisfaction in the party over his leadership.

Speculations were rife that Bian might not be appointed as there was intense lobbying for him to be replaced with another PKR leader.

PKR de factor leader Anwar Ibrahim was said to have been bombarded with a “fierce SMS campaign” urging him to remove Bian who had held the post for slightly over one year.

According to a party insider, some of the “SMS messages” were believed to be the work of BN people who wanted to see discord among the PKR leaders and members in Sarawak.

He said Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and other BN leaders were fearful of Bian as he (Bian) had been fighting for the rights of the native landowners whose NCR lands were seized by the government and leased to their cronies.

He said there were also PKR members who sent messages to Anwar warning him that if he did not reappoint Bian to his current post, many of the current members would leave the party.

“Many of the messages said they did not want to see what happened to Sabah to happen here,” he said, referring to several PKR members in Sabah who left the party due to a row over the choice of a leader.