FROM: MALAYSIAN INSIDER
KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — The Kedah Pakatan Rakyat government has ignored independent MP Zulkifli Noordin’s warning of a “second Perak” and will not seek to dissolve its state assembly.
Its leaders, however, are “extremely on guard” and will keep a close watch on all its 20 PR assemblymen to ensure they remain loyal to the coalition, unlike in Perak where three lawmakers turned independent and caused the collapse of the pact’s government in February 2009.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak confirmed with The Malaysian Insider that he had no immediate plans to seek a dissolution of the state assembly since none in his team of lawmakers had indicated plans to defect.
“I just had a discussion with them last night and I am very confident of their loyalty.
“There is no problem in the PR. The only problems are the assemblymen from Barisan Nasional,” he said when contacted.
The PAS leader scoffed at Zulkifli’s prediction that “a certain PR government” would soon fall like Perak had because of the closeness in the seat distribution between PR and BN in the state assembly.
“If he said that the Kedah majority is small, then how did the Kelantan (PAS) government manage to stay in power with only a one seat-majority?
“If other PKR members think like Zulkifli, then not only a few will jump — he cannot declare that a few will jump like him because we are all on good terms in PR,” he claimed.
Azizan also went further to challenge Zulkifli to step down as an MP and re-contest his Kulim-Bandar Baharu parliamentary seat if he felt he was influential enough.
“The people no longer support him… he is no longer credible in Kedah. If he is brave then he should resign and stand for re-election.
“If he really thinks that he has influence then he should resign and we will let our branch leader to go against him,” he said.
Zulkfili, who was sacked from PKR, issued the purported warning on Wednesday and advised a “certain PR state government” to quickly seek for a dissolution.
“It will be a shocker,” he warned, but did not name which state government he was referring to.
He also claimed that two PKR MPs and one assemblyman would soon leave the party.
Kedah PKR chief Johari Abdul admitted that all PR leaders in the state were presently “extremely on guard,” and at the slightest indication of another defection, the state assembly would be dissolved.
“I am an ex-Umno guy myself and I have plenty of friends still in Umno. We are keeping our eyes and ears open, but for now, there is still not indication of anything.
“One thing is for certain, there is no way that any one of the PAS assemblymen will jump. They are bound by the bai’ah (pledge) that they have taken,” he said.
He pointed out that even if all three of PKR’s remaining assemblymen left, the BN would still not have enough assemblymen to form a government.
“Do not forget that the validity of the Kota Siputeh seat is still in question in court. They cannot use that for now,” he said.
PR holds 20 seats in the 36-seat assembly with PAS holding 16, PKR three and DAP one, while the BN has 14. The assembly’s two independents — Radzhi Salleh (Lunas) and Tan Wei Shu (Bakar Arang) — are, however, said to be pro-BN.
The High Court had ordered the Election Commission to call a by-election for the Kota Siputeh state seat in Kedah after the assemblyman Datuk Abu Hasan Sarif twice went absent without leave from the state legislative assembly meetings.
The decision is currently being appealed by the EC.
Meanwhile when contacted, PKR’s assemblymen Tan Show Kang (Sidam) and S. Manikumar (Bukit Selambau) both denied there was any rift in the PR and assured The Malaysian Insider that they were loyal to their party.
“That Zulkifli is a bad man. His job is merely to spread lies and rumours in order to shake the foundation of Kedah’s government.
“We are not going to fall — you have nothing to worry about. If we wanted to leave, we would have left a long time ago. All those who wanted to defect have already left and those remaining will never leave,” he claimed.
Manikar said that Zulkifli was “heading towards insanity” for his predictions.
“Kedah is stable and there will be no negative action. It’s a blatant lie, nothing to worry about,” he said in an SMS.
DAP’s sole assemblyman, Lee Guan Aik (Kota Darul Aman), agreed with his colleagues and insisted that the Kedah PR government was very strong.
“There may be some problems in the PKR but I do not think it will come to that level.
“I believe this is just the work of our opponents who are plotting to create this sense of uneasiness in hopes of destroying us,” he said.
He agreed that he, along with many other PR assemblymen in Kedah, had been offered bribes to defect to BN after Election 2008 but denied the offers had been renewed recently.
“In any case, we will reject the offers outright,” he said confidently.
The third PKR assemblyman, Kulim’s Lim Soon Nee, could not be reached for comment.
A PKR source told The Malaysian Insider that of the three remaining PKR assemblymen in Kedah, Lim was the likeliest to leave.
“He was good friends with Tan Wei Shu (Bakar Arang),” claimed the source, an assemblyman from another state.
Tan resigned from PKR last month, citing his dissatisfaction with the party leadership and his removal from the state executive council.