Branch secretary confirms PBK–PKR meeting

KUCHING: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) has confirmed that there was a meeting held between the party and state PKR on joining forces to fight state BN in the coming general election.

Secretary of its Lanang branch, Franky Anong, said the meeting was between the party central committee leaders and three PKR leaders; namely state PKR chairman Baru Bian, deputy chairman See Chee How and vice chairman Ali Biju.

He said the meeting which was held in Sibu in October was initiated by PKR and the intention was to ask for PBK’s support in the coming general election.

“PBK had agreed to work with the opposition including PKR and DAP. The party will also honour what had been discussed in the meeting of not fielding any candidates but will assist PKR and DAP in their struggles to bring down BN.

“PBK will not focus on the general election. That is why we will not field any candidates. Our struggle is self-determination rights of Sarawak. However, any branch leaders are free to join the fray if they want to or see the need to. The party central will not object to it. We will also give them any assistance we can.

“The same principle will also apply to the opposition; namely PKR and DAP. We will help in whichever way we can by giving way to them and give them the support and cooperation.

“However, we will not hold back in the next state election, we will go full force then. We will field all candidates that we can, and in whichever constituencies we can,” Franky told The Borneo Post yesterday.

On the rumours of three PKR leaders intending to leave the Peninsular Malaysia-based party and was seeking a local platform and had identified PBK as the most suitable party, Franky kept mum.

“Let us get through the general election first. The more pressing issue for us now is to bring down BN government. The rest we leave it to after the general election.”

PBK, which has been inactive since its formation in 2013, had in October last year announced the launch of its Lanang branch (in Sibu) and Miri branch.

The party has remained low profile. It however came to the limelight when The Borneo Post reported the rumours that three PKR top leaders planned to leave the Peninsular Malaysia-based party to join the party.

Franky continued to stress that PBK had its own political ideologies and struggles and the party’s main fight was for the realisation of “our rights as stated in the 18-points Agreement and state’s autonomy”.

The party has been active since the last state election by setting up branches across Sarawak. The first PBK branch to be set up in Sarawak was its Sarikei branch, followed by Miri and other branches.

PBK submitted its application to be a political party in 2008 and the application was approved in 2013. The party claimed to have a membership of 600 to date.

Meanwhile, Baru said state PKR had been working closely with PBK since its inception in 2008.

“We have been having numerous meetings together and have been working together ever since the party’s inception in 2008.”

He said like previous elections, state PKR will be working with PBK in the coming general election as agreed in the October meeting in Sibu.