KUCHING, March 13 ― Julau MP Larry Sng has been elected as the chairman of the Sarawak chapter of PKR, taking over from Baru Bian who left the party to become the independent Selangau lawmaker.

Sng won the post after defeating Miri MP Dr Michael Teo and Batang Lupar division chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh.

The election was held on March 8 after the departure of Baru and other state party leaders.

However, Abang Zulkifli was appointed as deputy chairman while Dr Teo, Baram division chairman Roland Engan and Lawas division chairman Japar Suyut were appointed as vice-chairmen.

Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang was appointed PKR vice president for Sarawak and Sabah, replacing Saratok MP Ali Biju who defected to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

“It is with much reluctance and humility that I take on the responsibility of the state chair in Sarawak,” Sng said on his Facebook's post today.

“Given the recent defection by senior leaders namely Baru Bian, Ali Biju and Willie Mongin, the position of the chairmanship was left vacant with no clear successor,” he added.

He said this has resulted in a power vacuum at the top leadership at a critical juncture when the Pakatan Harapan coalition was negotiating for seats ahead of the Sarawak state election.

“In view of this, the remaining division chairmen gathered together at the invitation of party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to elect the new state chairman on March 8,” he said.

All the appointments are valid till the next party elections due in 2021/2022.

Sng said he is looking forward to working closely with all branch leaders to rebuild PKR and to win decisively in the coming state election.

Meanwhile, Betong division chairman Vernon Kedit last night announced his resignation as state PKR secretary with immediate effect.

He said it is to give the new state leadership the freedom to form his new team.

However, Kedit said he will remain as the Betong division chairman.

“This means I am a member of PKR and the democratically elected head of a division,” he said.