Oct 25, 09
In a move to end the disgruntlement in Sabah, PKR today chose local leader Ahmad Thamrin Jaini as the party’s new state chief.
Ahmad Thamrin, who heads the Libaran division, would replace Azmin Ali who “quit” last week.
Speaking to reporters after a four-hour national leadership meeting in Petaling Jaya this evening, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail also announced a nationwide reshuffle of state chiefs.
This includes vice-president Azmin, who is also Gombak MP and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyperson, being selected to head the Federal Territory instead.
Both Ahmad Thamrin and Azmin were not present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, party supremo Anwar Ibrahim brushed aside a question on whether Ahmad Thamrin’s appointment would be well received by the PKR Sabah division chiefs who ‘rejected’ Azmin.
He said the “issue does not arise” because Azmin did not quit his post as reported but “his mandate is over by the end of this month.”
Changes in other states
The leadership crisis in Sabah started when 18 division chiefs inked a memorandum dated Sept 20 which was critical of Azmin and sent it to Wan Azizah.
Following this, 16 division chiefs held an informal meeting on Oct 7 in Kota Kinabalu and expressed no confidence in Azmin’s leadership.
Despite a strong denial issued by the PKR national leadership that there was no memorandum forwarded with regards to Azmin, the latter however dropped a bombshell by quitting his post on Oct 23.
The other new state chiefs announced by Wan Azizah are – Penang’s Zahrain Mohd Hashim to be replaced by Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Dr Mansor Othman, Perak’s Osman Abdul Rahman to be replaced by vice-president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub and Malacca’s Khalid Jaafar to be replaced by PKR Youth chief Syamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin.
Terengganu also saw a new face when Abd Rahman Yusof was selected to head the state while Saifuddin Nasution (PKR election director) would spearhead PKR in neighbouring Kelantan.
In Sarawak, the national leadership had decided to appoint lawyer and land rights activist Baru Bian as the new state chief, replacing Mustaffa Kamil Ayub who was appointed last May.
Wan Azizah also revealed that the party has set up a National Integration Council headed by PKR vice-president Dr Jeffrey Kitingan to sort out issues of integration in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
Anwar confident PAS will settle its problems
In another development, Anwar said he was confident that PAS would be able to settle its internal problems.
The opposition leader was asked to comment on PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s call for a special meeting to deal with ‘problematic’ leaders.
In a blog posting, the Kelantan menteri besar had named three leaders – deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, secretary-general Mustafa Ali and Selangor PAS commissioner Dr Hasan Ali.
“I believe PAS including Nik Aziz and (president) Abdul Hadi Awang will handle this as best they can because we take this matter seriously,” said Anwar.
“PAS is important to Pakatan Rakyat and we are confident that they will they settle this properly,” he added.