Baru Bian explains why he and See Chee How joined Parti Sarawak Bersatu

PSB president Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh (centre) handing over the party flag to Selangau Member of Parliament Baru Bian, May 30, 2020. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
PSB president Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh (centre) handing over the party flag to Selangau Member of Parliament Baru Bian, May 30, 2020. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, May 30 — Former state PKR lawmakers Baru Bian and See Chee How confirmed today that they have joined the Opposition Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) led by former state second minister of finance Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh.

Baru, who is Selangau Member of Parliament, said over 20 of the 31 PKR branch chairmen of the state PKR will follow him and See, who is the Batu Lintang assemblyman, into PSB in the coming days.

“Many people have asked why we have chosen to join PSB instead of forming a new party.

“There are several reasons but the two main ones are that time is not on our side to register a new party before the next state election and that we do not want to cause a further split among the people of Sarawak by forming a new party,” Baru, who is a former state PKR chairman, told reporters at a media conference which was attended by Wong, PSB secretary-general George Lo, See and former PKR branch leaders.

He added that he and his supporters felt a new party was not necessary after discovering that PSB’s aspirations dovetail with theirs as laid out in his Vision of Hope for a New Sarawak.

“As a result of that, Datuk Seri Wong had no reservations about wholeheartedly accepting in toto what we aim to achieve for Sarawak when we form the next state government,” he said.

Asked on if Saratok M Ali Biju and Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin will be joining him and See in PSB, Baru said he has held several talks with two who are now the deputy ministers in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government.

“I have reasoned it to them (to join PSB). They are politically matured enough to make decisions for themselves.

“Probably, you (reporters) have to ask them what is their stand, but I have shared with them of our mission and vision,” he said.

Ali, Willie and Baru were among MPs who left PKR before the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government in February this year.

Asked about rivals’ calling him a “katak” (frog) for jumping from one party to another in his political career, he said the word has been used loosely of late on politicians who switched sides.

He explained PKR leaders have deviated from pursuing the original mission and vision of the party, adding that he and his supporters have no other choice, but to leave.

“You will be silly to stay with them. When that happens and when you leave, they call you katak.

“That is a good katak. So don’t use that katak very loosely. An intelligent katak will jump, a stupid katak will stay. We need to be wise and prudent, even in our political struggle,” he said.

Baru said he went with former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali because he appeared to be a good leader who could bring changes, deliver promises and so on.

“But at the end of the day, you look at the choices he made. You know that I Ieft the (Azmin’s) group in the last minutes because what they decided was not what I believe in, going together and teaming up with Umno and PAS,” he said.

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