Anwar denies Zambry’s defection claim

(Harakah) IPOH, March 31: Perak Pakatan Rakyat leaders have dismissed as braggadocio the claims made by BN Mentri Besar Zambry Kadir that he was approached by PKR’s top leader to defect in the aftermath of the landmark 2008 general election.

“These days all the empty vessels seem to be trying to glorify themselves by claiming that Anwar personally called them or spoke to them. It is actually quite disgusting behavior,” Perak PKR deputy chief Lee Boon Chye told Harakahdaily.

“Now Zambry also wants to join the bandwagon but the question is can he prove it? He shouldn’t boast or make accusations he cannot substantiate. I am sure, like myself, all other Perakians want to tell him off – please focus on your work in the state. Already, he is under-performing, yet he wants to talk.”

Indeed Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, the PKR adviser, has already denied he approached or offered Zambry the post of Mentri Besar to get him to join Pakatan.

“Ask him where did I meet him? I did not see or meet him. I have never talked on the phone with him. Send my regards to him,” Anwar was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insider.

Shortchanging the people of Perak

During Zambry’s winding-up speech in the Perak state assembly on Wednesday, he suddenly revealed he had been approached by PKR’s number one leader. However he refused to reveal if that person was Anwar although Anwar is the de-facto head of both PKR and Pakatan.

“I was courted when the BN government fell. The first person who was courted was Dr Zambry and not Nizar,” Zambry said.

Pakatan leaders accused Zambry of trying to deflect attention from the “real issue”. According to them, the fact was that under him, the Umno-BN government has spent less than a total of 10 days in state assembly sittings in the past year.

“If you compare with other Pakatan states Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan, the number of days the state assembly is in session is easily double that of Perak. But in Perak, what have the people been getting from Zambry – questionable declarations that he was invited to defect!” Boon Chye said.

Even on Wednesday, Zambry and BN Speaker R Ganesan were trying to rush through the second day of a two-day state assembly sitting. In his haste, Ganesan even forgot to provide in the agenda a slot to debate the Regent of Perak’s opening address.

When the MIC leader refused to rectify the error, deposed Mentri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin led a walkout of Pakatan lawmakers.

“Pakatan assemblymen can put up with a lot of indignity for the sake of the people, but when it is clear Zambry had no intention at all of holding a proper assembly, we must have the courage to raise the alarm,” Boon Chye said.

“The state assembly is the state Parliament. It is the place for the people of Perak to raise their unhappiness, their hopes and their aspirations for discussion, debate and action. They do this through their ADUNs, so when BN pulls this sort of stunt and cuts short the sittings, it is a direct slap to the people.”