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.

More news at:

Nizar dismisses talk over duo crossing over - NST

Jan 30, 2009 By : Jaspal Singh

IPOH: Are the two Pakatan Rakyat state executive councillors who were charged with corruption last year defecting to Barisan Nasional soon?
Even as Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin attempted to quash such speculation yesterday, the rumour mill had it that something was amiss in the ranks of the state Pakatan.

It is understood that the two had been incommunicado for at least three days -- even top state Pakatan officials were unable to contact them.

Observers said this fuelled speculation that Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu from Parti Keadilan Rakyat were "in the midst of negotiations" with Perak Umno.

Nizar told reporters he had spoken to the two yesterday and that they were firmly behind Pakatan.
"Speculation that they are thinking of leaving Pakatan is entirely untrue. They are not jumping over to BN. The state government is solid," he said at his official residence here.

Jamaluddin and Osman were charged last August with soliciting gratification to help a third party secure land for a housing development project.

Reporters had gathered outside Nizar's residence about 9am after being told that nine top officials from Pakatan were holding a high-powered meeting with the menteri besar to discuss the status of the two exco members.

Other leaders who attended the meeting dismissed the notion that the meeting, which ended at 11am, had anything to do with Jamaluddin and Osman.

Senior state exco and Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said the meeting was a regular monthly one between Pakatan state leaders on issues which included relations among the three component parties.

"Let me hear about it from the exco members themselves."

However, two state exco members, who did not attend the meeting, expressed concern over reports that Jamaluddin and Osman might defect to BN.

Besides Nizar and Ngeh, others who attended the meeting included state Local Government Affairs Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming, Ipoh Barat member of parliament M. Kulasegaran, Perak Pas commissioner Ustaz Ahmad Awang and his deputy, Asmuni Awi, and PKR's national vice-president Lee Boon Chye.

In Seremban, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has refuted claims that there will be defections involving Barisan Nasional assemblymen in Negri Sembilan.

"If it is true, give us the names... Why should the Perak DAP be concerned about it?

"Why not just look after Perak?" he told Bernama.

Mohamad, who is the state BN chairman, was asked to comment on claims by Perak DAP, as reported in the Chinese press, that there would be defections among assemblymen in Negri Sembilan.

Mohamad said BN assemblymen were loyal and committed to the party.

He admitted, however, that individuals from the opposition parties had approached BN assemblymen to persuade them to switch sides.

Pakatan Rakyat govt in Perak stable, says MB Nizar - Star

Jan 30, 2009

IPOH: Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has quashed speculation that the Pakatan Rakyat state government is on the verge of collapse.

Speaking to reporters after chairing the monthly Pakatan meeting at his official residence here yesterday, Nizar said the state government was very stable.

Speculation is rife that two PKR exco members will quit the state government and become independents.

Denying rifts:Nizar waving to reporters as he leaves his official residence after a meeting in Ipoh Friday. He quashed talk that the Perak Pakatan Rakyat state government was on the verge of collapse.

The two are said to be frustrated with the “dominating styles” of DAP state executive councillors Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and Nga Kor Ming.

The rumour was further fuelled when attempts by various parties to contact the two failed.

When asked whether he managed to contact the PKR exco members, Nizar said he had spoken to them.

“They are quite all right. The speculation on them crossing over to Barisan Nasional is not true,” he said.

Concurring with Nizar, Ngeh said Pakatan was stable and more people were eager to join the coalition.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nizar: Three more wanting to cross - NST

Jan 28, 2009

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

However, he 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 the Umno assemblymen had met PR leaders of their own volition.
"They came to see us after Nasarudin declared he was joining the PR. We have 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."

Asked if the Umno men had provided any reasons for wanting to join Pakatan Rakyat, he said it was due to internal politicking.

"They had 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."

2 more express frustration - NST

Jan 28, 2009

Datuk Hamdi Abu Bakar says any decision to jump to PR would be made collectively with other Umno reps.

IPOH: Two Umno assemblymen rumoured to be on the verge of leaving the party said more defections to the Pakatan Rakyat could not be discounted.

Datuk Ahamad Pakeh Adam says he was frustrated when told not to contest Sungai Siput division chief’s post.

After Bota state assemblymen Datuk Nasarudin Hashim quit the party for Pakatan Rakyat on Sunday, three more Umno state representatives are said to have communicated with PR leaders.

Two assemblymen told the New Straits Times they were mulling over their options if the situation in Umno did not change.

Lintang state assemblyman Datuk Ahamad Pakeh Adam and Pengkalan Baharu's Datuk Hamdi Abu Bakar said Umno had to stabilise itself in Perak and show that it cared and respected senior members serving as elected representatives.

Both Ahamad and Hamdi, who were Sungai Siput and Beruas Umno division chiefs respectively, lost their posts at divisional elections last year.
Ahamad said he was "frustrated" when told by Perak Umno liaison chief Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali that he should not contest the Sungai Siput division chief's post.

"How can Tajol Rosli tell me not to contest the division chief's post? I am the only Barisan Nasional rep in the Sungai Siput constituency. Even Nasarudin was instructed not to contest the Parit division chief's post.

"Yes, I admit I met state PR leaders recently to discuss my deep frustration with Umno leaders' behaviour since the last general election.

"While I have not expressed my desire yet to join the PR, I may do so if things do not change for the better in Umno.

"People with money but who are not wakil rakyat have been elected as division chiefs because they were sanctioned to contest against incumbents who are elected reps," he alleged.

Ahamad said he was disappointed with the BN's policies when it was ruling the state and "impressed with the PR state government".

Hamdi, meanwhile, denied that he had met state PR leaders but admitted that, like Ahamad, he was frustrated.

"Ahamad, one or two other Umno state reps and I had discussed our frustrations with what is going on in Umno."

He also claimed that money had been used to win divisional positions in the state.

Asked if he would join the PR if his wish to see a changed Umno did not materialise, Hamdi said any decision in that regard would only be made "collectively" with other Umno members who felt the same way.

"If we jump ship to PR, we jump together. I will not do it alone, never.

"I hope incoming party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak will focus on improving ties between Umno members and stop factions within the party."

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.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Umno man joins PKR in Perak - Star


PETALING JAYA: Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim is quitting Umno to join PKR, bringing the total number of state seats held by the Pakatan Rakyat alliance here to 32, versus Barisan Nasional’s 27.

Nasarudin, 58, said his decision was based on the people’s growing support for Pakatan, and the current situation within Umno and with its leaders.

Speaking at a press conference with PKR advisor and de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Sunday, the former Parit MP said he was joining PKR with immediate effect but would submit his resignation letter to Umno later.

Saying that he was doing this in the interest of the people, especially his supporters and voters, he added that he was confident in PKR’s commitment to protecting the rights and interests of all races.

“I am confident PKR will continue to uphold and respect the Constitution with regards to the position of Bahasa Melayu (sic) as the official national language, the position of the Rulers and Islam as the federal religion,” he said.

He added that by joining PKR, he would be able to more effectively represent the interest of his constituency since Pakatan Rakyat is the state government in Perak.

Nasarudin is former Felcra Berhad chairman and was an administrative and diplomatic officer in Wisma Putra, and also served at the Information Ministry. He joined Umno in the 1970s and had held the post of branch head since 1985.

Calling him an important leader in Perak, Anwar said Nasarudin’s decision was critical as it reflected the sentiment of the voters, especially his Malay constituents.

“He is responding to that demand. We welcome him and I see it as a beginning of a new wave,” said Anwar.

Unhappy Barisan

The defection left Barisan leaders in shock. In IPOH, Perak MCA chairman Datuk Kong Cho Ha described the move as a “selfish one,” adding that Nasaruddin needed to answer to his party and his electorate.

“I am surprised and shocked to hear of this crossover by a Barisan assemblyman,” he said.

“It is also up to his conscience on whether he should have first vacated his seat in Bota. He has to answer to his electorate because they had voted for him under the Barisan ticket,” he said.

Perak Gerakan chief Datuk Chang Ko Youn concurred, saying that Nasaruddin should have first resigned as Bota assemblyman.

“If you are elected under a certain party, you should stick with it.

“If you disagree with certain policies, then you should rightfully resign from your seat and later offer yourself up as a Pakatan Rakyat candidate in the by-election,” he said.

Elated Pakatan

Pakatan component party leaders were however elated by the news and some even claimed there would be more such crossovers.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, who is also state PAS deputy commissioner, said there were unconfirmed reports that more Barisan representatives planned to follow in Nasaruddin’s footsteps.

“There will be more crossovers ... we are working on it,” he said.

Perak DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham welcomed Nasaruddin into the Pakatan family, saying that the latter had told him in a phone conversation that he wanted to contribute more effectively to the alliance.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Perak push for holidays - Star

Jan 19, 2009

PERAK state executive councillor Nga Kor Ming said that the Federal Government should consider making Thaipusam a national holiday, reported Tamil Nesan.

He said that recommendations would also be made to the state to recognise the Ponggal (Harvest) festival as a state holiday.

He said the holidays should be considered in recognition of the sacrifices made by the Indian community.

He said that Indians from South India had risked their lives in building the transport system while many had worked in rubber estates, resulting in Malaysia becoming a major producer.

He was speaking to reporters after attending the Ponggal celebrations organised by Indian women traders inTaiping yesterday.

> Malaysia Nanban reported that Kingfisher Airlines, India’s second largest private airline, would soon start daily flights from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur.

It said India’s Civil Aviation Ministry had granted permission for the airline to service the Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore sectors with immediate effect.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Nizar: Boycott US-made goods - NST

Jan 11, 2009

IPOH: The state government yesterday launched a RM1 million fund for Palestine and called on the people of the state to boycott United States-made products.
Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said he hoped the 2.4 million people in the state would donate generously to help Palestinians facing a humanitarian crisis following Israel's invasion of Gaza, which has claimed over 700 lives, mostly civilians and children.

"Israel's crimes against Palestinians have the tacit backing of the US.

"We must send a strong message to the US that we will not stand by and watch it support Israel's atrocities in Gaza," he said after opening the state-level International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Nizar added that special teams would also be formed to provide the the latest information on the plight of the Palestinians.
A total of RM127,000 was collected from about 5,000 people who turned up for the event. -- Bernama

Nizar: Kemas classes to go on - NST

Jan 11, 2009

IPOH: Kemas kindergarten classes will continue in community halls, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said yesterday.
He said this in response to the call by Sungai Rapat state assemblywoman Hamidah Osman for a directive to clear the air on the future of the classes. However, Nizar said since no directive had been given to stop the classes, there was no need for any letter stating that classes should continue.

He was speaking after opening the Perak Motorised Vehicles Union's annual general meeting here.

On the directive by State Secretary Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim for all district officers to hand over the keys to chairmen of village development and security committees or penghulus, Nizar said this was an administrative matter. "I think the issue has been politicised. It's a smear campaign."

Hamidah had referred to a letter on the handing over of the keys by Abdul Rahman dated Sept 23 and had asked for a clarification on Friday, following accusations by Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib that the state government had locked 700 community halls used by the kindergartens.