Voters should ask Nasaruddin to quit, says Rais

(Bernama) PUTRAJAYA, WED: The Perak Barisan Nasional (BN) should organise a mass movement to demand that Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim gives up the seat to enable a by-election as he has chosen to cross over to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), said Umno Supreme Council (MT) member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

Rais, who is also Foreign Minister, said Nasaruddin won the seat on the BN ticket in the general election and by deserting the coalition, he had betrayed the trust the people had placed in him.

“If I were a Perakian, I would start mobilising all the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and village chiefs now to demand his resignation. The Perak BN should take this step.

“We (Umno) have thousands of branches in Perak. Umno branches, the Putera, Puteri, Youth and Wanita wings all must speak up. Just voicing in the media is not good enough,” he told reporters after handing the letter of appointment to Malaysia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Datuk Othman Hashim, at his ministry here today.

He added that he was confident the BN would not have any problem winning the seat if a by-election was held.

On Sunday, Nasaruddin, who won the seat by a majority of 2,068 votes against PKR’s Usaili Alias in the general election held last March, declared that he was quitting Umno to join PKR.

Following his move, the Pakatan Rakyat government of PAS, DAP and PKR in the state increased its seats to 31 in the State Assembly while the BN’s was reduced to 28.

On the call by Umno’s disciplinary board chairman Tan Sri Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail for the wings in the party to be abolished to check money politics, Dr Rais said each suggestion to improve Umno now would be given its due consideration.

“If the majority feel it would be good for Umno, the MT will definitely take it further,” he said.