Thursday, March 12, 2009

'Internal conflicts made us leave PR', say duo - Sun

By Humayun Kabir


TAIPING (March 12, 2009) : Internal problems, including alleged obsession with power by certain Pakatan Rakyat state executive councillors, were the main reasons why the two former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) assemblymen left the party to become independents.

Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu said he and Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi left PKR because they were unhappy with the state of affairs in the state executive council.

Speaking at a gathering of about 100 people at Kampung Air Kuning near here today, Mohd Osman claimed that the majority of the decisions taken at the state exco meetings were made by senior exco members Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and Nga Kor Ming who "dominated" the meetings.

Osman claimed that even some decisions made by former Mentri Besar Datuk Sri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin were overruled by Ngeh and Nga, who are cousins.

In what is believed to be his first public address since becoming an independent, Osman was overcome by emotion several times and had to pause before continuing his 20-minute speech. Also present was Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir.

Osman said he and Jamaluddin were unhappy with the way exco meetings were conducted because the opinions of the majority of the members were not sought and decisions were made only by a few.

Saying he had always been a strong critic of the Barisan Nasional during his 10 years as a PKR member, Osman said he and Jamaluddin did not come to a sudden decision to become independents.

"We waited for 10 months hoping that a change will come in the administration of the PR state government, but this did not materialise," he said.

After discussing the matter with their families and friends, they decided to become independents, he added.

Osman said he did not leave because he was offered posts and money, as alleged by certain quarters, but because of his love for the "religion and race, and the voters who had high hopes of Pakatan Rakyat fulfilling its election promises".

Internal problems in the PR, rather than outside political influence, were the main reason for their departure, he claimed.

Osman claimed that his main concern was to serve the voters in his area and he felt he could only do so as an independent and with the help of BN.

He said he was surprised when Jelapang assemblywoman Hee Yit Foong also left DAP to become an independent.

The departure of the trio resulted in the collapse of the PR state government.

Perak Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar had subsequently declared the three state seats of Jelapang, Changat Jering and Behrang vacant but the Elections Commission declared otherwise.

The three independents have since filed a suit in the Ipoh High Court claiming that their seats are not vacant as declared by Sivakumar.

Both Osman and Jamaluddin were charged with 16 counts of corruption last August with four others.

The charges included soliciting or accepting bribes of between RM400 and RM100,000 between Aug 6 and 19 as incentives to help businessman Mohamad Imran Abdullah obtain a contract to develop 36ha in Seri Iskandar from the Perak Tengah district council. The trial has been fixed for June 15 and 16.

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