Sarawak PKR alleges cover-up of Julau membership controversy

Sulok Tawie
The Julau branch swelled from 603 members to over 13,178 overnight, triggering allegations of forgery. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUCHING, Nov 9 — The Sarawak chapter of PKR expressed its suspicions today that some in the central leadership are working to whitewash the allegations of membership fraud in the Julau branch here.

State PKR committee member Baharuddin Mokshen said that the central leadership has adamantly ignored the complaints lodged with the party headquarters over dubious changes in the branch’s membership roll.

The Julau branch swelled from 603 members to over 13,178 overnight, triggering allegations of forgery.

Confirming a Malaysiakini report that over 11,000 of these new members share just 11 addresses, he said these were among blatant irregularities that the central PKR leadership was somehow ignoring.

“Certainly, something is not right here,” he said.

“We are doing all we can to ensure that the party will survive, but there are people who want to kill it.”

Desmond Kho, another state PKR committee member, said the Julau branch is still scheduled to vote with the rest of the Sarawak branches tomorrow despite the unresolved allegations.

He said election officials from PKR’s central election committee were already in Sibu and will proceed to Julau after.

“They will conduct the election based on the membership registration,” he said, adding the membership registration is under the purview of the secretary-general’s office.

Sarawak PKR Wanita chief Norhanim Mokshen expressed fears that the party was about to be co-opted by local “towkays” that she claimed were being allowed to buy their way to power.

She said she was not against these newcomers joining PKR, but said the party must prevent them from gutting the state chapter from the inside.

“Therefore, we must choose the correct candidate for the party’s deputy president’s post, the one who has been tested and re-tested, who has a good track record, and the one who can strengthen and unite the people,” she said.

Norhanim identified incumbent Datuk Seri Azmin Ali as the person who fits the bill best.

She urged party members to reject Azmin’s challenger, Rafizi Ramli, claiming each ballot in the former secretary-general’s direction was also one for “towkays”.

“Remember that we don’t vote Rafizi Ramli for the deputy president’s post because if we vote him, we vote for Sng Chee Hua. If we vote for Rafizi, our state PKR will be finished,” she said.

Sng is the father of Julau MP Larry Sng, whose office was raided by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last week over allegations of phantom voters and money politics.

The father-and-son duo were part of the previous Sarawak political establishment through the Sarawak Workers’ Party.

The junior Sng contested Julau as an independent during the general election but joined PKR upon winning.

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