January 30, 2010
Zahrain blames DAP for defection speculations
by Athi Shankar (January 29, 2010)
Bayan Baru parliamentarian (PKR)Dato Seri Zahrain Hashim blames the current defection speculations among PKR MPs on the party’s submissiveness to DAP’s political demands. He said due to disgruntlement among PKR leaders and members, talks of defections have surfaced among party elected representatives.
Zahrain was rumoured to be leading a handful of PKR parliamentarians out of the party to become Barisan Nasional-friendly representatives. He has neither denied nor confirmed the speculation.
Zahrain claims that the majority of PKR’s elected representatives and members, especially from Penang, were frustrated with their party’s subservient attitude to Pakatan Rakyat ally DAP.
Their anger, he alleges, was more towards DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
The former Penang PKR chief is particularly annoyed with PKR’s ‘virtual surrender’ to Lim and partly blamed it on a weak state party leadership. He said the current PKR representatives in the state Pakatan government were meekly giving in to DAP at the expense of party interests, rights and benefits.
“They dare not stand up against Lim. PKR has compromised its original reformasi agenda to suit the whims and fancies of DAP’s political game,” he told Malaysiakini.
‘PKR doesn’t need DAP’
Zahrain believes that PKR could survive without DAP, being a multiracial party. He called on PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim to review the party’s ties with DAP before it was too late. “If defections happen, it will be due to DAP’s dominance over PKR,” said Zahrain.
He also rubbished the Lim government’s CAT principles based on competency, accountability and transparency. Instead he claims Lim’s motto of governance was “it must be my way or no way.”
Zahrain says he is prepared to face the music for publicly criticising another Pakatan leader, calling Lim a “chauvinist running the state government like his own backyard.” He described the DAP secretary-general’s style of governance as taking the island-state “backward rather than forward.”
“Being a multi-racial party representing all communities, PKR has to take the rap for Lim’s failures,” Zahrain said. Among the ‘failures’ Zahrain alluded to were the contentious Kampung Buah Pala and Kampung Melayu Tanjung Tokong incidents.
Penang ‘better off’ without Lim
Zahrain also lambasted Lim for fast tracking the construction of the much-opposed Penang International Convention Centre (PICC) in Relau, which ironically sits in his constituency.
He said Lim has also failed to practice political unity and power-sharing by sidelining PAS from the state administration. Zahrain also alleged that Lim was against holding local council elections in Penang for fear of losing control over municipalities, despite being a central figure in DAP’s ‘third vote’ campaign.
He said Penangites were also growing restless with Lim’s statements blaming the previous BN administration for everything.
“He should stop complaining and start to look for money to carry out people-orientated programmes. Until today, he has not done anything worthy for Penangites,” lamented Zahrain.
Since the much-hyped initial foreign investments in 2008, the PKR man said Lim’s government had failed to attract any notable foreign investments despite spending millions in public funds in frequent foreign trade missions.
He also slammed Lim’s hypocrisy of ‘advocating’ press freedom on one hand, while banning certain media groups and reporters from his functions. “It’s because Lim cannot take criticism,” he said.
Zahrain also opined that Lim has failed to comprehend Penangite sentiments and aspirations as the latter was ‘parachuted’ in from Malacca; he believes that Penang should be led by a local-born chief minister. “Penang would be better off without Lim,” he said.