KONGRES PKR ...LIVE !!! -----> cakkk kat sebelah
Hari terakhir perbahasan Kongres LIVE .... !!!!
Jadual 3 hari KONGRES - DISINI

HOME [no2umno]

Mar 21, 2008

Rumour of Sarawak MP's defection fuels BN's woes

Veteran MP may join PKR after failing to get federal position


MALAYSIA'S political uncertainty deepened yesterday following unconfirmed reports that a Barisan Nasional parliamentarian in Sarawak had resigned from the ruling coalition.

The closely followed news website Malaysiakini reported that Mr Richard Riot, a five-term MP from Serian, had resigned from the Sarawak United Peoples' Party (SUPP), raising the spectre of more defections from the BN in coming days.

The report, quoting an unnamed spokesman for Mr Riot, stated that the MP may defect to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Malaysia's main opposition party which is headed by former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.

Mr Riot, who is a representative of the Bidayuh tribe of Sarawak, could not be contacted for comment.

But SUPP last night denied the rumour, saying the party had not received any resignation letter.

'The party secretary-general and I have not received anything yet. I don't think the rumour is true. I have tried to contact him but to no avail,' party president George Chan told Bernama.

But two politicians in Sarawak told The Straits Times that they are not dismissing the report just yet, because the politician had confided to close colleagues in recent months his displeasure that Bidayuh tribesmen in the Chinese-dominated SUPP were being sidelined.

His exclusion from the latest Cabinet line-up was also cited as a reason for his reported resignation, the politicians said.

The SUPP chief admitted that Mr Riot was a bit 'upset' after he was not appointed to the federal Cabinet.

Dr Chan said he had recommended four party members for federal Cabinet positions, but only three were allocated posts.

'When I submitted the names, I had hoped that every one of them would get in, including Richard, whom I recommended for a parliamentary secretary's post. However, since the Prime Minister decided to do away with the post, Richard was not in the list,' he said.

'At the moment, I just hope that he stays cool and lets us work it out.'

Analysts worry that the news of Mr Riot's walkout from the BN could precipitate more defections to the PKR-led opposition coalition.

On Wednesday, Datuk Seri Anwar claimed that the BN was cracking apart and that his opposition coalition was beginning to attract newly elected MPs, particularly those from smaller parties based in the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has dismissed Datuk Seri Anwar's claims, saying: 'He claims so many things... The Government is very strong.'

But independent political analysts are not so sanguine, as Malaysia's political landscape has not been more uncertain.

The BN now holds a 29-seat majority in the 222-member Lower House, which many analysts consider to be wafer-thin by Malaysian standards.

The Sabah and Sarawak parties hold a huge sway over the national power equation.

The East Malaysian parties delivered 42 parliamentary seats to the BN, but they did not receive the expected recognition in Datuk Seri Abdullah's new Cabinet line-up.

Political analysts are not convinced that Datuk Seri Anwar will be able to swing a complete defection of the East Malaysian parties away from the BN.

But walkouts like Mr Riot's could prompt other parliamentarians in Peninsular Malaysia, where Datuk Seri Anwar still enjoys widespread appeal and support, to consider leaving the BN in coming weeks, analysts say.


Posting terkini

Blog Archive