Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PR wooing three Umno assemblymen to defect - NST

Jan 27, 2009 By Jaspal Singh

IPOH, Tues:

Three more Umno state assemblymen are being wooed to join the Pakatan Rakyat, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said today.
Speaking to reporters at the Perak DAP Chinese New Year open house here on Monday, he told reporters the three Umno assemblymen had approached Pakatan leaders after the defection of Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim declared on Sunday to the Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

He, however, refused to disclose who the three were.

“I cannot give more specifics because we want to guard their security. Now Nasarudin is facing some problems after announcing that he is joining Pakatan Rakyat. So I cannot reveal who these three people are,” he said.

He said the Umno assemblymen had met PR leaders on their own volition.
“They came to see us after Nasarudin declared that he was joining the PR. So we have now started discussions with them.”

Nizar said he could not tell when the crossovers would take place, pointing out that it took Nasarudin at least three weeks to make his decision.

“Of course, time is of the essence and the negotiation is going on seriously. If you ask me to rate the chances of winning them over to the PR’s side, then it will be 50-50 at the moment,” he said.

Asked if any reasons were provided by the Umno men for wanting to join the PR, he said it was due to internal politicking.

“They wanted to contest for top division positions but were told not to by the party leadership. When they insisted on contesting, they lost their bids,” he said.

While the names of the three Umno assemblymen could not be confirmed, it is believed they are Pengkalan Baharu state assemblyman Datuk Hamdi Abu Bakar, Datuk Ahamad Pakeh Adam (Lintang) and Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (Kubu Gajah).

Both Hamdi and Ahamad, who were incumbents, lost their positions during divisional elections last year. Raja Ahmad’s bid to capture the division chief’s post was hampered when the Umno supreme council decided recently to suspend the divisional election.

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