Dr M warns Umno against errant PKR duo

(The Malaysian Insider) – As the fate of the Perak government hangs in the balance with Barisan Nasional said to offer leading the Silver State, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has asked Umno to consider all views before accepting the errant PKR duo that has set off the political impasse.

Former Perak state executive councillors Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) have declared themselves independent after the Pakatan Rakyat government told the Election Commission that their state seats were vacant as the duo went missing. But the commission has refused to call for by-elections, fuelling speculation that the duo will eventually defect to Umno.

"Is Umno so desperate that it cannot wait for the criminal court decision against them before accepting them," the acerbic veteran politician wrote in his blog today, referring to the duo's favours-for-sex corruption hearing soon.

"If they are accepted now and then found not guilty, the so-called Umno-led government will be accused of influencing the court. True or not does not matter as the public's perception is such. It will have an effect in the 13th general election," said Dr Mahathir, a trenchant critic of outgoing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Writing that Umno is already seen as corrupt, breaking promises and giving priority to Abdullah's crony in Terengganu, he said: "If we add to all this by accepting those accused of sexual bribery, Umno's image will get worse."

"Datuk Abdullah, Umno president, think first before being eager to accept people like this," Dr Mahathir posted in his chedet.cc weblog.

He also pointed out that Umno and Barisan Nasional had tried to curb party hopping by instituting pre-signed resignation letters but the measure was found illegal.