Nasarudin should not have defected: Najib (updated)


Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim should not have “jumped off of Umno’s ship” even if he had personal problem or was dissatisfied with the party.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Umno and Barisan Nasional had done too much for the country for its wakil rakyat (people’s representative) to “leave just because of some problems.”

“I don’t think his (Nasarudin) actions were appropriate. How can we leave the party at times when it need our loyalty and support to continue with its struggles?

“I am hoping that the Yang Berhormat from Bota has thought of the consequences of his decision and actions,” Najib told reporters after attending the Gerakan Chinese New Year open house at Menara PGRM on Monday.

Asked if he was surprised with Nasarudin’s move to leave Umno and join PKR, the Deputy Prime Minister said: “Yes, I was surprised.

“We heard rumours about him (leaving) two days ago but it still came as a shock when it happened.”

Nasarudin on Sunday announced that he was leaving Umno for PKR, saying his decision to jump ship was due to political developments and people’s support for the Opposition during the general election, and the current situation in Umno.

Nasarudin said he would be a more effective assemblyman by joining PKR, especially with Pakatan Rakyat holding the reins of the state government in Perak.

The 58-year-old politician is the first Barisan elected representative to join the Opposition after the general election last year. News of his defection sent shockwaves within Umno circles.

With his defection, Pakatan strengthened its razor-thin margin in the Perak state government to 32 versus Barisan’s 27.

Asked if Barisan was under threat of more of its wakil rakyat defecting, Najib said: “There are rumours but I don’t think so.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said he would be meeting with Perak Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali to discuss the recent development, adding that he wanted to know “the real story.”

On whether efforts would be made to convince Nasarudin to reconsider, Najib said that has not been decided.

“But I hope he thinks very deeply and seriously about what he has done,” he said.