Bid to woo Sarawak’s only remaining PKR MP to defect

Dr Michael Teo – Picture from Borneo Post

FIVE PKR lawmakers, including its Miri MP, have been threatened or enticed with rewards to defect from the party and join the Perikatan Nasional government, revealed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Michael Teo is the sole PKR MP from Sarawak after five other MPs abandoned the party over the past 13 months. The other four PKR MPs recently offered to jump were Natrah Ismail (Sekijang), S. Kesavan (Sg Siput), Awang Husaini Sahari (Putatan) and M. Karuppaiya (Padang Serai).

Speaking at a press conference today, the PKR chief said he will send a letter tomorrow to request a meeting with Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Datuk Seri Azam Baki to discuss the matter, as well as recent allegations of political persecution against opposition MPs, The Vibes reported.

Anwar, who is also Port Dickson MP and opposition leader, said he received multiple complaints from some of his party’s lawmakers regarding the pressure being laid against them to twist their arm into jumping ship.

“I will write to MACC chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki tomorrow to request an appointment and get his clarification. Besides YB Natrah Ismail, YB Padang Serai, Sg Siput, Putatan and Miri have been threatened or invited with many rewards and bait to support them (PN).

After the last general election in 2018, PKR Sarawak ended up with six Parliamentary seats. Since then, only Teo is left.

Sarawak PKR MPs who had defected were Baru Bian (Selangau), Larry Sng (Julau), Jugah Muyang (Lubok Antu), Ali Biju (Saratok), Willie Mongin (Puncak Borneo).

Baru is also state assemblyman for Ba Kelalan while Ali is Adun for Krian. Batu Lintang assemblyman, formerly from PKR, had also defected to Parti Sarawak Bersatu last year. This leave PKR with zero representatives in the state legislature.

Meanwhile, Anwar dismissed questions today about a potential partnership with Umno for the 15th general election, saying talks in this direction were still at a very early stage.

He said any comment about the possible cooperation with the Malay nationalist party and political rival would be speculative, the Malay Mail reported.

“I’ve already said it would be premature to indicate any possibility of cooperation in the next general election. At this stage, we are just discussing.

“So, this would pre-empt something beyond that, even before a major understanding has been reached. So, I think we will stick to that, that we are just in the midst of initial discussions.”

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