Saturday, February 13, 2010

PKR = parti serpihan UMNO

Five more MPs to quit PKR?
By G. Manimaran

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Five more Members of Parliament (MP) from PKR are said to be quitting this coming week, testing the leadership of party de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who faces a career-ending sodomy trial.

It is understood that the five will announce that they are turning independent to protest the PKR leadership, citing similar reasons that led Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim to be the first PKR MP to walk out last Friday since Election 2008.

A few PKR assemblymen are also said to be joining the MPs, who could help the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) reach the key two-thirds parliamentary majority of 148 seats in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat to allow them to pass laws without opposition support.

“From current information, there are four or five MPs who want to leave PKR. They will state their stand after the Chinese New Year celebrations... wait for the second press conference next week,” a PKR source told The Malaysian Insider.

The Chinese Lunar New Year has two public holidays, today and Feb 15.

“The MPs are from several states including Penang,” the source said, adding the MPs concerned do not hold ranking positions within PKR at either the state or national levels.

The source explained the lawmakers have decided to turn independent because they were dissatisfied with the party leadership and its current struggle.

“Whether they join other parties in the future will be decided later,” the source added.

Apart from Zahrain, who just left, the other three PKR MPs in Penang are Anwar (Permatang Pauh), Yusmadi Yusoff (Balik Pulau) and Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal). PKR had picked up 31 seats in Election 2008, while allies DAP had 28 and PAS 23.

Apart from Zahrain, Yusmadi and Tan, the others speculated to leave as late as two weeks ago are controversial Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin, Merbok’s Datuk Rashind Din, former Pahang PKR No 2 Azan Ismail (Indera Mahkota) , Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju) and Loh Gwo-Burne (Kelana Jaya).

All have denied the accusation of jumping ship except Yusmadi.

Zahrain and Tan are already scheduled to meet the PKR disciplinary board for criticising Anwar and his ally Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng. Tan had previously told The Malaysian Insider that he would leave PKR if the situation worsened.

Penang PKR chairman Mansor Othman had told The Malaysian Insider a few weeks ago that up to four Pakatan Rakyat MPs could jump ship to help BN get its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority.

The source added several state assemblymen have also expressed a desire to leave PKR in the footsteps of the two disgraced state exco from Behrang and Changkat Jering. Another two who turned independent are from Lunas and Port Klang state seats.

PKR elections director Fuziah Salleh had told The Malaysian Insider last month that up to seven MPs are said to be leaving the party due to weak performance.

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