Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kedah's turn to feel defection heat

Syed Jaymal Zahiid, Jimadie Shah Othman and Abdul Rahim Sabri Feb 5, 09 2:44pm

Following the political coup in neighbouring Perak, the Pakatan Rakyat-led state of Kedah is said to be on high alert.

MCPXIt is learnt that several Pakatan state assemblypersons there have been categorised as 'high risk' and their movements are being closely monitored by the state leadership.

Allegations are rife that these 'high risk' reps have been approached by Barisan Nasional numerous times since last week in a bid to lure them to defect.Pakatan currently holds an eight-seat majority in the state assembly after it wrested 22 seats against BN's 14 in the last general election.

When contacted, PKR Kedah Youth chief Saiful Izham confirmed that the leadership is in a precautionary mood and is currently monitoring their members."Yes we are monitoring our members but not to the extent of having them quarantined. Monitoring means we are constantly keeping in contact with them."We have been having several meetings with the leadership and members and so far all have attended," he said.No 'missing' leadersFellow Pakatan leader, PAS Bukit Lada state assemblyperson Ahmad Izzat Shauki also claimed that BN has made several approaches but so far no Pakatan rep has accepted."We know BN is attempting to lure our members to defect since last year but we have declined."No one is missing so far. There was an event in Pokok Sena this morning and everyone, including the menteri besar and excos, were present," he said.

Sungai Petani PKR parliamentarian Johari Abdul also conceded that Kedah is on high alert after what transpired in Perak.He alleged that various attempts have been made by BN to lure Pakatan reps to defect with offers of cash and powerful positions.However, Padang Serai PKR parliamentarian N Gobalakrishnan denied that the Pakatan-led state government is worried over the prospect of their members leaping to the opposite side."I have not heard of anything.

Of course we know that BN has been trying to get our people to defect but I have heard nothing to merit any serious attention," he said.Meanwhile, Jerlun Umno MP Mukhriz Mahathir denied that there were any attempts by BN to induce defections."No. Not that I have heard of. As far as I know, there have been no such attempts to get them to defect," he said.

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