Sabah PKR chief refuses to step down

Sangkar Rasam says the grassroots are against calls for him to resign.

(FMT) – Sabah PKR chairman Sangkar Rasam has shot down calls for him to resign, stating that criticism of his leadership has affected the chapter’s planning for the next state elections.

Pointing out that Sabah PKR had often been mired in internal turmoil, Sangkar said the party’s members should stop wasting time on such matters, and instead, focus on the welfare and development of the people.

Sangkar also dismissed claims by PKR Kota Marudu division chief Sazalye Donol that he was not leading the state chapter effectively and had failed to organise programmes to strengthen it, describing the allegations as “groundless accusations”.

“(This) does not reflect the true voice of Sabah PKR’s grassroots,” said Sangkar in a statement.

“Not only have his accusations embarrassed Sabah PKR, it has also hindered the party’s preparations for the upcoming state elections.

“I want to emphasise that I will continue to fulfil the mandate given to me by Prime Minister (and PKR president) Anwar Ibrahim with responsibility and integrity.

“I will not waver from my duty to ensure that PKR continues to serve (and ensure) the progress and prosperity of Sabah.”

At a press conference in Kota Kinabalu on Sunday, Sazalye said 15 of the 26 Sabah division chiefs had called for Sangkar to step down as the state chairman and had walked out on a state leadership meeting after expressing their unhappiness over the latter’s leadership.

Sazalye added that 15 statutory declarations from division chiefs demanding that Sangkar step down had been submitted to Anwar’s political secretary, Azman Abidin.

Yesterday, another Sabah PKR division chief, Razeef Rakimin, told FMT he believed the party would not win any seat in the state elections unless Sangkar resigned as the state PKR chairman.

Tuaran division chief Razeef, who was one of those involved in Sunday’s walkout, said Sangkar was not pro-active and had not conducted any leadership or election training programmes since becoming state chief in August 2022.

Calling such claims “completely untrue”, Sangkar said the party programmes he organised over the past year had been attended by PKR members from across the state, and often, by representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The party’s machinery is currently preparing for the upcoming state elections, and I am committed to ensuring that my leadership will secure state legislative assembly seats for PKR, allowing it to maintain its crucial role in steering the state government,” said Sangkar.

“I call on all parties to prioritise the interests of the rakyat over the personal interests of some individuals so that we can continue working together to strengthen PKR.”

The next Sabah elections is only due in October 2025, but Gabungan Rakyat Sabah chairman Hajiji Noor, who is also the Sabah chief minister, has hinted at the possibility of holding it this year.