PKR’s ‘missing two’ quit as reps

(The Star) IPOH: Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Mohd Osman Jailu have resigned their posts as assemblymen of Behrang and Changkat Jering respectively.

Their resignations are effective 5:45pm Sunday, state assembly speaker V. Sivakumar said in a statement.

This paves the way for by-elections in the two constituencies within 60 days, he added.

He said he would inform the Election Commission officially Monday morning.

The Commission would then deliberate if by-elections are to be called and when.

Their resignations, ending days of speculation that they were going to defect to Umno, leaves the Pakatan Rakyat state government with a razor-thin margin. It now holds 30 state seats against Barisan’s 27, with two seats up for grabs in the 59-seat State Assembly once a by-election is called.

Rumours are also rife that Perak state assembly deputy speaker Hee Yit Fong, the DAP representative for Jelapang, is going to resign as well.

When contacted at her home Sunday night, she declined to comment.

The two PKR men have been “missing” for five days.

Earlier Sunday, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin confirmed that neither the state nor family members have been able to reach the two Perak state executive councillors.

He even said the state government would lodge a police report after consulting with their families.

Jamaluddin, 52, was the Perak Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Committee chairman while Mohd Osman, 57, headed the State Tourism and NGO Committee.

They 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. Their case comes up for hearing on Feb 10.

After Umno’s Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim crossed over to PKR last week, PKR and Umno have been involved in a psychological war, with both accusing each other of trying to pinch their assemblymen.

Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman have not been seen in public since Nasarudin crossed over to PKR last Sunday, with the media also failing to reach them for comments.

Speculation had been rife in Perak that the exco duo were going to resign from PKR and become Independents before joining Umno later.