PKR state liaison chief Baru Bian is indeed a very nice person. In fact, he might be the cleanest politician in Sarawak with no skeletons hiding in his closet.
He has won the admiration of the rakyat with his persistency in fighting for the NCR land issues which are purportedly being taken illegally by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
Many in PKR, or even those outside the party, really admire him and hope that one day he could become an elected representative or even the chief minister of Sarawak.
For a person of his stature, it is not a surprise to hear even the DAP state secretary YB Chong Chieng Jen had pinned his hopes on Baru Bian to be the chief minister if Pakatan Rakyat won the state election.
However, he has one major weakness which, till to date, no efforts being done by the party to rectify it – i.e. Baru Bian is seen as being controlled by KL leaders.
He didn't play a significant role in the negotiation of seats with DAP and PAS. As a matter of fact, it was mainly carried out by the KL leaders. Even DAP Sarawak leaders, including YB Chong Chieng Jen, were extremely not happy with this.
And there were also accusations made by former leaders of the party that Baru Bian didn't do anything to stop the KL leaders from continuing exerting their control over him.
Some even regarded him as merely a talking puppet for the PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
To many PKR leaders from Semenanjung, the strong interference from KL might not a big issue among Sarawakians because they believe their supporters would not mind the KL leaders to remote-control the local leaders as long as the party could initiate change in Sarawak.
May be they thought that since Sarawakians never openly called for the re-instatement of the status of Sarawak as one of the regions that formed Malaysia, the rakyat would have no problem to see Sarawak leaders being controlled by KL.
Then, they are wrong!
These PKR leaders should have consulted DAP Sarawak on the local sentiment when drafting the party's strategy for this election.