Selangor fights defection rumours

(The Star) – Top Selangor Pakatan Rakyat leaders went into damage control mode to deny speculation about possible defections by state assemblymen to Barisan Nasional, which could rock the state government.

PKR vice-president Azmin Ali and DAP state executive councillor Teresa Kok both issued statements rubbishing the speculation.

However, Klang MP Charles Santiago cautioned that such speculation should not be dismissed so easily as there were signs of a plan to topple the state government.

Azmin, who is also the Selangor Pakatan backbencher chief, said there was no proof of such alleged crossovers and that he refused to comment on rumours.

Kok, the Kinrara assemblyman, said rumours about the crossovers were a strategy to split Pakatan.

Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that three elected representatives from PKR, two from DAP and three from PAS would defect to Barisan.

Santiago warned that the rumours could not be brushed off lightly, pointing to the fall of the Perak Pakatan state government — which came after corruption investigations into two state assemblymen and party infighting.

He added what was happening in Selangor was far more extreme, given the intensity of the graft probe here.

However, Santiago added that there had to be 11 crossovers to topple the state government.

In a separate function, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said Port Klang state assemblyman Badrul Hisham Abdullah would not be booted out despite complaints that he was not serving his constituency well.

“From my understanding, there was an accident which had affected his brain,” Khalid told reporters yesterday.

Badrul Hisham’s name had been mentioned as one of the state assemblymen who would cross over to Barisan this Sunday.