|Wong Choon Mei|
KUALA LUMPUR Feb 2: Despite the sound and fury from two of its Penang parliamentarians, PKR is unworried and scornful of the Umno media's intensifying speculation that there will soon be an “exodus” of lawmakers from Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's Pakatan Rakyat into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional.
“I believe it is highly unlikely that the two men will be able to convince 8 other MPs to cross over to the BN. In fact, I don’t even see Zahrain and Tee Beng resigning from PKR, although they do seem to be testing the party’s patience to the limit,” PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Harakahdaily.
Both Najib and Rosmah to be subpoenaed
Indeed, Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Hashim and Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng have angered their Pakatan colleagues by publicly condemning DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
So unnecessarily vindictive were their verbal outbursts that PKR insiders accused the two of being enticed by Najib and his Umno cohorts to create negative publicity for the Pakatan. The aim - to deflect the storm of media attention on the role he and his wife played in instigating sodomy charges against Anwar.
Indeed, the 62-year old reform icon has announced plans to subpoena both Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor as witnesses in his sodomy trial. The country's first couple had met Anwar's accuser Saiful Bukhari Azlan two days before the latter lodged his police report against Anwar.
"They had initially denied the meeting. Now Najib has admitted he had met Saiful and we want to know more,” Anwar told reporters who had thronged the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning along a horde of international observers and diplomats.
“If Najib and the government can manage to cover up the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder, what more this? This second round of sodomy charges is a desperate attempt to frame me and stop the Pakatan’s advance."
Anwar the real target
Last week, Zahrain sprung a surprised by publicly accusing Guan Eng of being a dictator, chauvinistic and communist-minded. On Monday, Tee Beng followed through by criticising Guan Eng’s stewardship of the state, claiming the DAP leader had “no class”.
Calls have poured in for PKR to take the harshest action against both men. Anwar has already directed Zahrain to face the disciplinary committee and Tee is certain to face the same fate.
“Their behaviour has been deplorable and they must be punished but let’s not forget who and what the real target is. It is Anwar and his sodomy trial. Guan Eng is just a convenient scapegoat to stir up anti-Chinese sentiments,” a PKR insider told Harakahdaily on the condition of anonymity.
“Let’s not fall into their trap and let this so-called impending breakup in Pakatan to cloud the shame Najib is putting the country through with his sham sodomy charges.
“If Zahrain and Tee want to quit PKR, they can do so. Nobody can stop them anyway. But for sure, they won’t be able to muster up another 8 MPs to give Umno-BN the two-thirds majority it wants in Parliament. So from there you can tell how fast Umno-BN will drop them once their political usefulness is finished, especially since DAP has exposed all their baggage for voters to see.