LAWAS: The election at the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) here almost did not happen yesterday when Lawas District Council cancelled at the last minute permission to use the Lawas Indoor Stadium as the voting centre yesterday.
Works Minister Baru Bian, who is also PKR Sarawak chairman, regarded the move as ‘an abuse of power to disrupt the election process’.
“This action was obviously an abuse of power to pressure us. We will take action and I will direct my officers to make a complete report to the authorities for further action,” he said when met here yesterday.
Baru said PKR would lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the attempt to sabotage the party’s election through the last-minute cancellation of the permit to use the hall.
The Selangau MP and Ba Kelalan assemblyman explained: “I was notified around midnight by my officer, saying that the council secretary Zulkifli Sahari had cancelled the use of the stadium following a directive from permanent secretary to the Ministry of Local Government (and Housing).”
Baru said PKR had obtained the approval and paid RM500 for rental last week to use the stadium, but at the 11th hour his side were told against using it. He added that the council should have given his side sufficient time to find another venue for the election.
It is learnt that the matter had been resolved, and the PKR polls here went on smoothly yesterday.
Baru, who won unopposed as PKR Sarawak chairman and PKR Sarawak chief, also claimed that similar attempts were made to disrupt polling in Lubok Antu and Julau divisions but unlike PKR Lawas, these were not done at the very last minute.
Nevertheless, he was satisfied that the election here went smoothly.
PKR Lawas polls involved over 1,000 registered voters, the majority of whom voted for Azmin Ali – one of two contenders for the party’s national deputy president’s post.
The other candidate is incumbent Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.