BN moves closer to two-thirds majority

The BN needs 148 seats for a two-thirds majority. With support of the three independents, it will get there with just another eight defectors. A two-thirds majority is not just a psychological booster, but is also necessary for smooth passage of the next redrawing of electoral constituencies that will begin next year.

The Straits Times

DATUK Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) was hit yesterday by a flurry of resignations by ex-loyalists, including an MP from Penang.

Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng said he was becoming an independent because there was no longer any avenue for dissent in the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

‘I have been told not to openly criticise party leaders. This is not what PKR used to stand for – accountability and justice,’ he said at a press conference.

Former PKR secretary-general Salehuddin Hashim also confirmed yesterday that he was quitting the party. He does not hold an elected seat.

Speaking at the same press conference, he said he believed that more lawmakers will leave in coming days. ‘It may be more than 10. But they won’t all jump at once, they will go in ones and twos,’ he said, blaming the party for favouring new members and sidelining loyalists.

Mr Tan is the second MP to quit PKR in a month, after Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Hashim left in a huff following a quarrel with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. Datuk Seri Zahrain is also from Penang.