KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — The Kedah Pakatan Rakyat government will make an attempt to prove its solidarity tonight by calling on all three of its PKR assemblymen to speak at its mammoth rally in Alor Setar.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said the gathering in Kota Sarang Semut near capital Alor Star should quash all talk that it would be hit by a spate of PKR defections that would cause it to topple.
“All those who are supposedly going to defect will be there — all my three PKR assemblyman.
“They will be speaking to the people to dispel talk of their possible defections,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted by phone.
Azizan reiterated that he had no plans to dissolve the Kedah assembly, not even if two assemblymen defected.
His words goes against his earlier statement that he would dissolve the assembly at the slightest indication that one of his men were about to leave.
“Why should I? We still have the majority. We can still govern the state even if they leave,” he said confidently.
He acknowledged that he had already received many “indications” of the purported defections but said they were merely malicious rumours spread by “troublemakers”.
“The question is whether those indications are true or not. Some people have even said that the consent of the Sultan has already been sought for the Barisan Nasional to form the state government but can we believe them?” he said.
In the recent days, talk was rife that more PKR defections would soon follow, particularly in Kedah due to the small seat-majority between the BN and PR assemblymen.
PR holds 20 seats in the 36-seat assembly with PAS holding 16, PKR three and DAP one, while the BN has 14.
The assembly’s two independents Radzhi Salleh (Lunas) and Tan Wei Shu (Bakar Arang) are, however, said to be pro-BN.
The High Court had ordered the Election Commission to call a by-election for the Kota Siputeh state seat in Kedah after the assemblyman Datuk Abu Hasan Sarif twice went AWOL from the state legislative assembly meetings.
The decision is currently being appealed by the EC.
If PR loses three more assemblymen from the assembly, BN’s seat number would shoot to 17, with the support of the two independents while the PR would only have 17 assemblymen.
“But still, don’t forget about the Kota Siputeh seat. The status of that seat is still in question,” Azizan reminded.
When contacted, PKR assemblyman Lim Soon Nee confirmed with The Malaysian Insider that he would be speaking at the rally.
“Whatever I need to explain to the people will be said tomorrow night,” he said yesterday, confidently adding that he would not leave PKR.
A PKR source had named Lim as one of the possible defectors from PKR as he was a close friend of Tan.
PKR’s other two assemblymen Tan Chow Kang (Sidam) and S. Manikumar (Bukit Selambau) had already both denied there was any rift in the PR and assured The Malaysian Insider that they were loyal to their party when contacted earlier.
“I am tired. I think I have spoken about this issue more than 50 times. I have many times denied but people still ask when the issue is brought up,” Tan told The Malaysian Insider.
“I want to close the file, I don’t want to talk about this issue anymore. They invite me for this event, so I will use the gathering to explain and I hope people will know my stand ... and not raise the issue again,” he said.
DAP’s sole assemblyman Lee Guan Aik (Kota Darul Aman) had also agreed with his colleagues and insisted that the Kedah PR government was very strong.
“There may be some problems in the PKR but I do not think it will come to that level. I believe this is just the work of our opponents who are plotting to create this sense of uneasiness in hopes of destroying us,” he had reportedly said.