5 PKR reps betrayed own party, says Guan Eng of vote abstention


(The Malaysian Insider) – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has slammed five PKR state lawmakers for their actions in the recent Penang Assembly sitting, who he said was as good as backing the opposition Barisan Nasional against the Pakatan Harapan state government.

Lim also described the actions of the five state assembly persons as an “act of mutiny from within”, when they decided to abstain during a house vote on a motion that had been brought by an Umno legislator.

Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, said the actions of the five also raised questions as to whether they can be counted on as a reliable partner and ally of the Penang government.

“Abstention by the ‘PKR 5’, as a BN daily emphasised, is as good as supporting Umno’s motion and an act of mutiny from within”, Lim said in a statement today.

“Can the PKR 5 be counted upon as a reliable or dependable partner, ally or member of the Penang state government? This is politically untenable as one cannot run with the hares and yet hunt with the wolves,” he added.

The Penang government is made up of eight DAP lawmakers and three from PKR. The deputy speaker is also a PKR assemblyman.

“This is a clear sign of dissatisfaction by the PKR 5 or even a mutiny against the four PKR ADUNs holding government posts.

“If true, this shows that there is a party within a party in PKR, one comprising of those holding government posts and the other comprising backbenchers who appear to be backed by national PKR leaders,” Lim said in a statement today.

According to Lim, the motion had first been brought by the Umno assemblyman from Pulau Betong Muhamad Farid Saad on Friday to oppose land reclamation projects in the state.

The 5 PKR representatives abstained from voting on the motion while four others, Datuk Maktar Shapee, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim and Dr Afif Bahardin, voted against it. DAP assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu of Tanjung Bunga had supported the Umno motion, Lim said, but he has since repented and apologised to the party.

“Voting in support of Umno’s motion against his own party is unacceptable and warrants stern disciplinary action.”