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Ansari on the stump minus PKR heavyweights

By Luke Rintod of FMT
SANDAKAN: Sabah PKR's “numero uno” leader Jeffrey Kittingan has just taken two months leave from the party and his deputy Christina Liew is no where to be seen!
Sources said Jeffrey has decided to stay away from the embarrassing free-for-all PKR campaign in the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election and Liew's whereabouts "is unknown".
Meanwhile, “embarrassing” is a mild word given the recent behaviour by Batu Sapi leaders.

PKR Batu Sapi newly-elected chief, Hassnar Ebrahim, is said to have made disparaging remarks against other PKR leaders, several times, including at state liaison meetings.

And the name calling against his own comrades has come back to haunt the Ansari Ibrahim's by-election campaign.

Many confirmed that Hassnar has been telling everybody that there are three PKR leaders whom he did not want campaigning in Sandakan.

The leaders he named are Awang Tangah Awang Amin, Awang Ahmad Sah Awang Sahari, and Jalumin Bayogo.

He had also reportedly said that Jeffrey was also not welcome.

PKR leaders are questioning Hassnar's political savvy.

"Of what good is this kind of statement or leader to the party?" asked a PKR leader from Kudat, who requested anonymity.

"This man's (Hassnar) behaviour and the way he handles things at his level is just unpalatable. Why is Anwar (Ibrahim) not disciplining him? It is as good as saying that Anwar is condoning gangsterism culture in PKR."

Efforts to contact Jeffrey proved futile. He did not reply to text messages sent to him.

Rowdiness in PKR

Meanwhile, PKR state liaison secretary, Mursalim Tanjul, has also complained of being attacked by Hassnar's henchmen.

Mursalim's description of the attack being circulated via SMS reads: "Dorang keroyok saya. Baru badan besar-besar lagi. Tapi saya tidak lari, saya bertahan sampai dileraikan oleh pihak Airport (Sandakan). Saya tidak sempat lepaskan pukulan sebab busy mengelak pukulan dorang dan saya tidaklah teruk sangat kecuali bahu kanan saya kena pukul dari belakang, itu masih sakit dan sekarang saya tidak boleh angkat tangan kanan saya..."
(They ripped me. Big guys. I did not run. I stayed until airport staff interferred. I couldn't return punches busy avoiding them. I'm not so bad only right shoulder hurts, was hit from the back. Painful. I can't lift my right arm.)

The talk in town is that Hassnar had, prior to nomination, said he would only accept an outsider candidate if it was Ansari.

This makes Sabah PKR liaison chief, Ahmad Thamrin Jaini, who is from nearby Libaran, as “persona non grata” as far as Hassnar is concerned.

Meanwhile, another PKR leader, Nahalan Damsal, has also broken ranks with the party.

Nahalan, a former state minister and ex-PKR Batu Sapi chief, while still a PKR member, has openly voiced his support for opposition candidate Yong Teck Lee rather than for Ansari.

In fact, Nahalan, who still commands respect in Sekong, one of the two state constituencies that make up Batu Sapi, was a proposer in Yong's nomination process.

He is also campaigning for Yong.

"How can Anwar or anybody in PKR not notice this? Why is PKR keeping quiet? I don't understand... if these acts were made at other times, they would definitely be slammed by Anwar and Azmin Ali as traitorous acts that merit sacking," said another senior state PKR leader.
Ansari-DAP deal

Amidst this mayhem, another question has popped up. Where is the Liew and Ahmad Thamrin?

Liew is no admirer of Ansari, and questions have surfaced on whether she would campaign for the latter in the Chinese areas.

The Chinese voters make up 38% or 9,737 of the total 25,582 registered voters in Batu Sapi. Liew is yet to be seen campaigning for Ansari.

Ansari is now relying on the Sabah DAP to deliver the Chinese vote.

Ansari's close cooperation with DAP's Hiew King Chew is seen as a compromise for their own future arrangements.

"Ansari is to give Tuaran to DAP's Edward Ewol Muji in exchange for DAP support wherever the former wants to stand," said a Tuaran leader who also requested anonymity.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Thamrin's quiet and dignified manner in the whole unsavoury situation has also been noted by many PKR members.

The injury to his secretary, Mursalim, by Hassnar's men, has in turn delivered a black-eye to Ansari's campaign.
Still PKR and Ansari have nine more days to rectify matters and give Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Barisan Nasional (BN) a fight for the coveted parliamentary seat.

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