KAMPAR: Jul 13, 2008
Barisan Nasional should wait for the next general election to recapture Perak from Pakatan Rakyat instead of trying to engineer a cross-over of PR assemblymen into the coalition, said MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
Ong, who is also Perak MCA chairman, said winning the state through the votes of the people would safeguard BN's image and signal the return of public confidence in the Perak BN.
"People may not have a healthy perception of BN if it comes to power (with the help of defecting PR state assemblymen.
"They may think that BN resorted to corrupt practices even if the party did not do such a thing," Ong said after a convocation ceremony at Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman here yesterday.
Earlier, Ong, who is Housing and Local Government Minister, presented diplomas and certificates to more than 700 KTAR graduands.
Recapturing power through the election process was also "safer" than relying on PR state assemblymen to defect and cause the collapse of the PR state government, he said.
"I, too, want to see a BN state government in Perak, but let's use the legitimate process so that the credibility of the BN government will not be questioned."
In the meantime, Perak BN should make use of the next three or four years to plug weaknesses which had caused it to lose seats and the state in the general election, he said.
"The state BN must work hard to identify its weaknesses so that it will be strong by the next general election and be able to wrest Perak from Pakatan Rakyat."
On Friday, Perak BN chairman Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali said that more than two PR state assemblymen were expected to cross over to BN by Aug 31, which would lead to the fall of the PR state government. Tajol Rosli claimed that the PR assemblymen would not be defecting for money.
Meanwhile, the PR announced that it would be setting a trap for BN the next time it approaches one of its assemblymen with offers to defect.
Perak senior executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said the next PR assemblyman to be approached would accept the offer as part of a trap to be set up with the help of the Anti-Corruption Agency.
"You may ask us why we would announce the trap if it's a trap, but we have no more time for such antics.
"The state government wants to move forward. Investors are worried and we want to do this for the people's sake."
Ngeh also refuted Tajol Rosli's claim that no money was involved as more than 10 PR assemblymen had purportedly been approached but they had rejected the BN's offer.
Information such as names, telephone numbers and short-message service (SMS) were handed over to ACA but ACA senior officers suggested setting up a trap as the evidence was not strong enough to prosecute those involved, he said.
"We want to say to Tajol that the next person he approaches will respond positively to the offer. But be ready to be arrested and go to jail."
The PR controls Perak with a majority of only three seats, BN has 28 state seats to PR's 31, with 18 from DAP, seven from PKR and six from Pas.
In an immediate response, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said he shared the same views as Ong in that the BN should only attempt to wrest Perak at the next general election.
"I agree. (BN should try to win Perak) not just for the next election, but many 'next' elections," he said at a two-day carnival to showcase Volkswagen vehicles here yesterday.