TAWAU, October 28, 2009: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is not a ‘one-man’ political party and will go beyond any single personality or his or her personal agenda, in order to stay relevant and true to its struggle for the people, said PKR Sabah deputy chief, Datuk Kong Hong Ming.
He stressed this while speaking at a news conference held here after chairing the Tawau Divisional Committee meeting endorsing the appointment of PKR Sabah Secretary cum Libaran division chief, Ahmad Thamrin Hj Jai by PKR Central leadership as the new State Liaison Chief for Sabah.
“We believe and practice team leadership and collective responsibility. PKR leaders and members in Sabah are mature enough to reject any form of personal agenda or desperate conduct that is inconsistent with the party’s objectives and struggle. As a reformist political party where the party’s central struggle is people supremacy (ketuanan rakyat), race or religion is a non-issue insofar as the appointment of Thamrin as our new State Chief is concerned.
“As a relatively young and vibrant political party having the second largest representation in the Parliament after UMNO, we do have internal conflicts and differences from time to time. However, we can always agree to disagree. As responsible party leaders and members, we do not publicize our internal domestic problems to the media,” he articulated.
He continued that PKR Sabah may be an opposition party for now, but its state leadership are determined to develop good political culture and values to gain the confidence and trust of the people.
“Any internal conflicts and differences can be and will be resolved through proper internal channels holding party’s interest as our guiding principle. I am confident that PKR will evolve as a better and more progressive party.” he said.
Asked about Datuk Dr Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan’s decision to quit his post as PKR Vice President, Kong who is also PKR Tawau division chief said while he respected and accepted Dr Jeffrey’s decision, he however disagreed with the reasons cited by Dr Jeffrey that he has lost confidence over the party’s central leadership, claiming that it had ignored or disrespected the state leadership’s majority decision over the appointment of the new State Liaison Chief for Sabah.
Kong pointed out that this was not true as there was a motion to recommend someone among the state divisional chiefs to become the new state chief during the State Liaison Committee meeting held at its office in Penampang on 22 October, but it was rejected by the state leadership. Thus, a consensus was reached among the divisional chiefs to give full mandate to the Party President to elect one in accordance to the Party constitution, hence the appointment of Thamrin.
He categorically asserted that the meeting on October 22nd was the only official meeting of proper forum and authority according to the Party Constitution, adding that as far as he knows there was no other formal meeting attended by Divisional chiefs to select any candidate for the Sabah chief post.
“In any event, Thamrin has the majority support of the Sabah Divisional Chiefs.” Kong said.
He then revealed that his Divisional Committee has expressed unanimous support to the appointment of Thamrin as the new Chairman of PKR State Liaison Committee.
“PKR Tawau, Kalabakan, Semporna and Silam Divisions welcome and support the appointment of Thamrin as our new PKR Sabah Chief by the Party President.” Kong said after chairing the Tawau Divisional Committee meeting confirming that Thamrin’s appointment is well received.
“Thamrin is a very experienced and committed PKR leader. To Thamrin, party interest is always first and last. He has the quality of a good leader. I am not surprised that he is appointed by the Party President as the new State chief even though he has never demanded for any post in the party. For the record, he has served as the state secretary for the three immediate past PKR State Chiefs, including Tuan Hj Ansari Abdullah, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali” Kong said.
While noting that no doubt that there are many experienced leaders in PKR Sabah who are qualified and eligible as PKR State chief, Kong nonetheless said in this present situation where party unity is one of their main concerns, the appointment of Thamrin as the new Sabah chief, is the best choice.
Thamrin, who is the Sabah PKR Secretary cum Libaran Chief succeeded PKR Vice President who was the interim Sabah Chief for a period of the past four months.