Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Zaid questions defectors’ reasons for leaving party

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — PKR Supreme Council member Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has rubbished the reasons given by defectors for quitting the party.

When contacted by The Malaysian Insider, Zaid said the reasons ex-PKR members like Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng gave for leaving the party needed to be analysed.

“Whether the reasons for them leaving the party were legitimate or not, we will look into them as a party. Look, PKR and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are not perfect. If you leave because you are disgruntled and unhappy, there’s nothing that we can do,” said Zaid.

He stressed that if party members had a problem or issues that needed to be addressed, the solution would be to discuss the problems, not “leave the party.”

He also used himself as an example where he did not always fully agree with the party’s stand on some matters.

“I still have my own views on how the party handles some matters. I may not fully agree, but I use the various avenues provided by the party to make my point.”

When asked whether the rising emergence of independent MPs like Tan and another PKR defector, Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim, would pave the way for a viable third force in Parliament, Zaid laughed and dismissed the possibility.

He said that even though they claimed that they were independent MPs, they will not play the neutral ground when the time comes.

“They are not independent, they are independent in name only. They will eventually support Barisan National. Look at the Perak frogs. Obviously the independent MPs will become Barisan-friendly, why else would they leave Pakatan?” questioned Zaid.

Tan is the latest departure by a PKR Federal lawmaker, following Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim’s recent decision to also leave PKR.

Ex-Penang deputy chief minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin also quit the party on Sunday night for Umno while ex-PKR secretary-general Datuk Salehuddin Hashim confirmed he quit two weeks ago.

PKR now has 29 MPS in Parliament, this latest round of defections has reduced Pakatan Rakyat’s bench to only 80 lawmakers against Barisan’s 137.

The other two allies in Pakatan are DAP with 28 MPs and PAS with 23.

However, Zaid remained optimistic about PKR’s political future.

“There is not going to be a mass exodus from PKR. We are stronger now, stronger in terms of support from the people who voted for Pakatan.

“If people want to leave, good riddance if the reasons are not genuine,” he said.

The Malaysian Insider



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