Jamaluddin quits PKR to be independent

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi has resigned from PKR in a huff over Pakatan Rakyat’s move to declare his seat vacant, saying he will remain an independent in the 59-seat Perak state assembly.

However, he was unsure if Changkat Jering assemblyman Osman Jailu would do the same. Both errant PKR state executive councillors have been missing for the past week, raising fears they had defected to Umno and forcing the Pakatan Rakyat government to request for by-elections.

The Election Commission today rejected the bid for by-elections.

“Since it wants to get rid of me, I have decided to quit,” Jamaluddin told The Malaysian Insider, claiming it was obvious the party has turned its back on him.

It is understood that the Perak PKR leadership are meeting now to discuss the latest development, which is the second blow after the Election Commission denied state speaker V. Sivakumar’s submission for by-elections. Earlier, PKR had claimed that the missing duo remained party members.

Jamaluddin confirmed that he has not contacted any other parties to talk about defecting, adding he had never intended to resign from his state seat.

The agriculture and trade executive councillor said by using the pre-signed resignation letters, PKR had shown that “it is they who do not want me”.

Both Jamaludidn and Osman have filed police reports with the state police over Sivakumar’s decision to consider them as having resigned from the assembly.

The Behrang assemblyman, who is serving his first term after being elected in the March 2008 general elections, said this was no longer an issue as the Election Commission had declared that he was still the holding the state seat.

He disclosed he was currently in Kuala Lumpur and would be returning to Perak in three or four days after a rest from his back ailment. Perak has been awash with speculation that Jamaluddin and Osman, who are facing corruption charges next week, would quit PKR to join Umno. This comes at the heels of Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasharudin Hashim’s defection from Umno to PKR on January 25.

With Jamaluddin’s resignation from PKR, the Pakatan Rakyat government led by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Niza Jamaluddin now control 31 seats against Barisan Nasional’s 27.