Saturday, January 31, 2009

2 Perak excos 'missing', PKR fears defection - Malaysiakini

Jan 31, 09 6:35pm

Perak PKR has accused Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of attempting to entice two state executive councillors (exco), who have been missing for four days, to defect.

"We believe that there are efforts by Barisan Nasional to persuade the duo to join them in exchange for a desperate reward on offer by Najib, including dropping corruption charges against them," said Perak PKR chief Osman Abdul Rahman.

Over the past few days, rumours that two Perak exco members - Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (in pink shirt) and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu - are quitting PKR have been rife. The duo have not publicly denied this.

The rumours surfaced immediately after Bota assemblyperson Nasarudin Hashim left Umno for PKR last Sunday. Najib took over as Perak Umno chief after Tajol Rosli Ghazali stepped down to take responsibility for the defection.

Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman are both facing corruption charges and their trial is scheduled to begin Feb 10.

The duo and three others were charged last year for corruption in relations to a RM180 million housing project spanning 36 hectares in Sri Iskandar, some 30-minutes south of Ipoh.

Jamaluddin is charge of state government’s entrepreneur development, cooperatives, agriculture and trade portfolios, while Mohd Osman is charge of tourism, human capital development and non-government organisations.

'Don't be trapped by Umno'

In a faxed statement today, Osman said family members of the duo and party members have been unable to contact them for four days.

"We believe that their disappearance is closely linked to the corruption charges they are facing. Since the beginning, we have been confident that the allegations against them are false and cooked up by Umno and Barisan Nasional as political blackmail," he said.

"However, we hope that the two leaders are safe and steadfast in the party (PKR) struggle, and will not be trapped by Umno-BN who purportedly want to include them in their fight to protect the Malays," he added.

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