Baru (right) sharing a light moment with Anwar during a break in Parliament last week. PKR Source Photo

KUCHING: A media statement issued by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) after reports that Works Minister Baru Bian was not in attendance at a closed door meeting attended by the party’s top members in the state has clarified that Baru was unable to attend due to prior engagements.

PKR issued the statement after several attempts by The Borneo Post to contact Baru for a comment were unsuccessful.

“YB Baru is in Lawas for several events scheduled in advance that could not be postponed. He had informed the President (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) of the matter on Monday and he (Anwar) accepted the reason for exemption,” the statement said.

It went on to clarify that at today’s closed door meeting, which was held to vote on a new PKR Sarawak chairman, Anwar had reiterated that he was informed by Baru of his absence.

PKR Sabah and Sarawak were given autonomy to elect their own branch chairman. Anwar arrived at the Hilton Hotel Kuching at around 3pm, and was welcomed by Baru Bian challenger, Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng – the man widely tipped to be the new PKR Sarawak chairman.

The election for the new state chairman is still underway as of press time. Results are expected to be announced within the next few days.

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