As BN courts Pakatan men, DAP mulls fresh polls

By Leslie Lau, The Malaysian Insider

Perak could be on the brink of fresh elections or a change of government. The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is pressing hard for a collapse of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government with not only PKR but DAP lawmakers being courted.


The DAP, representing the largest bloc of legislators in the state assembly is understood to be ready to urge the Perak state government to call for fresh elections.

“We will then let the Sultan decide,” a senior DAP official told The Malaysian Insider.

Perak was awashed today with rumours, speculation and accusations over the whereabouts of two PKR state legislators after the mentri besar confirmed this morning he would be lodging a missing persons report with the police.

There is also intense speculation that at least one DAP lawmaker is considering an offer to join MCA.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider that MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat is scheduled to meet the DAP lawmaker tonight and make an offer to join BN.

In Kuala Lumpur, Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi also added to the intrigue, by saying that “God-willing” there would be some defections from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Perak to the Barisan Nasional (BN).

The PR state government got a boost recently when a BN assemblyman joined PKR, dealing a severe blow to Umno, leading to the resignation of Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli as the party state chief.

But in recent days, speculation has been rife in Ipoh that the BN coalition was orchestrating the downfall of the Perak government by engineering defections from PKR instead.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin confirmed today that neither the government nor family members were able to reach the two state executive councillors who have gone missing.

The state government will lodge a police report after consulting with their families, he said.

He called on the two lawmakers from PKR to surface even if they have defected to Umno.

Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mat Radzi, is the state entrepreneur development and cooperatives committee chairman while Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Jailu is the chairman of the tourism and NGO committee.

The two men went missing after Umno’s Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim defected to PKR and strengthen the PR government’s slim majority in the state assembly.

However, there have been swirling rumours that Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman, who were charged in a Sessions Court on Aug 25 last year with allegedly receiving bribes over the application for a RM180mil housing project in Sri Iskandar in Perak Tengah, may have decided to defect to Umno in the hopes of getting off the charge.

Their case comes up for hearing on Feb 10.

The PR state government currently holds 32 state seats against BN’s 27 in the 59-seat state legislature.

“Really the question now is whether BN is willing to be seen as corrupt if they are really to accept those who have been charged,” a state PR official told The Malaysian Insider.

But with the stakes high and the prize control of the state government, Umno and BN have indicated they are willing to accept defections from PR parties.