BN reps pledge loyalty

(The Star) – Perak Barisan Nasional representatives have met with the Deputy Prime Minister and reaffirmed their loyalty to the coalition.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the MPs and assemblymen pledged to stick with Barisan through thick and thin.

He said this would put to rest rumours, including those spread through SMS, of more crossovers by Perak representatives, adding that those named in the SMS were also at the meeting, which took place on Monday at his residence in Jalan Langgak Duta.

This followed Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim announcement on Sunday that he was quitting Umno for PKR – the first Barisan representative to defect to the Opposition – and ensuing statements that there would be more crossovers in the state.

It is learnt that 26 assemblymen and 11 MPs were at the meeting with Najib. Those absent were Umno Wanita chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan and an unnamed assemblyman.

Najib said those absent also pledged their loyalty to him through the telephone.

“You see, they are all here to show their commitment. Those mentioned in the SMSes are also here,” he said.

On Nasarudin, he said Perak Umno would monitor and tackle the problem.

“Nothing is impossible in politics,” he said, adding that the meeting also discussed party strength, commitment to serve the people and confidence in Barisan.

Umno Perak liaison committee secretary Datuk Ramly Zahary said the representatives at the meeting had voiced their views on Nasarudin’s crossover.

He said Perak Umno had sent close associates of Nasarudin to talk to him on why he decided to jump ship.

Perak Umno chief Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali, meanwhile, said Nasarudin could have been “pinched” from Umno to replace two PKR state executive councillors who are charged with corruption.

“Maybe they are working ahead to fill up the positions,” Tajol Rosli told reporters after attending the Perak MCA open house.