Former Lubok Antu MP Jawah Gerang and about a thousand supporters have joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), it was announced here yesterday.
Speaking at a press confe-rence held at a local hotel, Jawah announced his decision to join PKR as he handed over his membership application, along with the applications of more than 1,000 others, to PKR secretary general Datuk Salehuddin Hashim.“My decision to join PKR is not a surprise; neither is it a political gimmick. I join the party on my own free will,” he said.
Others at the conference were state PKR vice chairman Nicholas Bawin Anggat, former Sri Aman MP Jimmy Donald, PKR Betong chief Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh and members of PKR Sri Aman and Lubok Antu.
Jawah also revealed that he had already travelled the length and breadth of his former constituency to recruit more members and claimed that the response from the people was “very encouraging”.
He claimed that their members were mostly from the now defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) which was deregistered in 2004. Jawah who joined Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) after his PBDS’ days was not re-nominated for the Lubok Antu parliamentary seat in the election last March 8.
Jawah’s replacement by William Nyallau Badak did not go down well with the supporters of this five-term MP who had grown from strength to strength – in terms of grassroots support — since his first outing in 1986. It was, therefore, quite expected of him to claim yesterday that, about 6,000 people from Lubok Antu parliamentary constituency would soon be joining him in PKR “shortly”.
Meanwhile, Jimmy also said about 1,000 people from Sri Aman parliamentary constituency had joined PKR, adding that he had been moving in the constituency to ask his supporters to join the party. The media members were also told by Bawin that PKR Sri Aman branch had been set up at Jalan Sabu.