IPOH (May 13, 2008): By Humayun Kabir
A war of words has begun between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) assemblymen after former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali announced that he is willing to vacate his Pengkalan Hulu state seat for a by-election to test PR's strength in the state.
It was reported in the media that Tajol Rosli had said that the outcome of the by-election would reflect BN's support in the state and was confident that BN would return with a bigger majority.
Responding to his challenge, Ipoh Timur PAS Youth deputy chief Shamsul Effendey Abdul Rahim called on all the 28 BN assemblymen to vacate their seats in Perak if Tajol was sincere about his statement.
Shamsul was reported as saying PR is confident that it would win the by-election in Pengkalan Hulu. He also added that Tajol’s statement suggests he is not willing to admit defeat in the recent general election and thinks that BN is still relevant.
Perak Umno state liaison committee secretary and Kuala Kangsar Umno chief Datuk Ramly Zahari responded to Shamsul’s statement by calling all BN and PR asseblymen to resign en bloc for a fresh state election to be held.
Ramly said: "The PR state government is shaky and not stable and faces many problems in administrating the state. The state’s economic activities are almost frozen and the people are unhappy with the state’s progress."
When suggested by theSun that fresh state elections will be a drain on the tax payers' money, Ramly said that money was a secondary factor. "Money is not important but getting the solid support of the people in the state is more important," he said, adding that this time around the BN will be returned with a bigger majority.
In response to Ramly’s claims, Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Han said: "PR does not want to waste tax payers' money on fresh state elections as the people have already given us the mandate to rule the state for the next five years. We are confident that the rakyat in Perak supports us as they are content with our three-month administration."
"We have 100 over investors who are interested and they have the confidence in the PR government. We are giving a jolt in boosting the state economy as the BN had left a sleepy state for us to wake-up the economy sector," said Ngeh who is also Perak Finance, Infrastructure, Public Utilities, Energy, Water and non-Islamic Affairs Committee chairman.
Ngeh said now is the time for work and such bickering is not necessary. "It does not serve any purpose and does not benefit the people. We will complete our term of office for the people to judge," he said.
DAP central executive committee member A. Sivanesan warned BN not to wash dirty linen in public as it will back fire on BN when "we expose their activities, some of which are not people orientated, for the past 50 years".