Pakatan lawmaker, missing earlier, says he does not intend to join Umno

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mat Radzi said tonight he had not resigned as a state legislator, and asserted he had no intention of defecting to Umno.

“No, I have no intention. I do not understand why these resignation letters are being used now,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Jamaluddin admitted he had signed an undated resignation letter, as had all Perak Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state legislators after parties belonging to the alliance won power in the state in last March’s general elections.

He said state legislators were briefed about the reason for the undated letters, and were told they would be used to “vacate their seats” if any of them decided to defect from their respective parties.

Asked why he had gone “missing” for the past few days, Jamaluddin said he had not been answering his telephone because he was not well.

He did not, however, say whether he had contacted Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin to inform him of his intentions.

Earlier today, Nizar had told reporters that he would be lodging a police report over two missing state assemblymen – Jamaluddin and Changkat Jering assemblyman Osman Jailu.

This evening, the state legislative speaker declared vacant the two state seats held by the two PKR lawmakers who were expected to defect.

This would pave the way for by-elections for the two seats within 60 days.

The Speaker V Sivakumar said in a statement this evening that he had received resignation letters from the two PKR men had.

Sivakumar said he had received the letters by fax at his house.

He added that the Election Commission would be informed of the vacancy tomorrow.

This latest political drama had been sparked by the defection of Umno’s Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim to PKR.

Following Nasarudin’s defection, the two PKR men disappeared.

Besides the two PKR men, there had also been rumours that that Hee Yit Fong, the deputy state assembly speaker and a DAP assemblyman is considering a defection to MCA.

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.