Bota state assemblyman Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim’s crossover from Umno to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) last Sunday will not weaken Perak Umno but will instead pave the way for efforts to rejuvenate and reinvent the party to ensure it remains strong, Perak Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali said today.

He said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was coaxing Barisan Nasional (BN) elected representatives in the state to cross over with the offer of certain posts in a desperate move to enable the PR maintain its power in Perak.

The PR government in Perak was forced to resort to such a measure in preparation for the possible loss of two PKR elected representatives who had been charged last August for accepting bribes along with three other people, he told reporters at the Chinese New Year open house organised by Perak MCA chairman Datuk Kong Cho Ha at the hall of the SMJK Nan Hwa here.

Changkat Jering assemblyman Capt (Rtd) Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu, 57, and Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, 52, are scheduled to attend court hearing from Feb 10 on the charges.

Meanwhile, at the Chinese New Year open house organised by the Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Ipoh, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin denied that Nasaruddin had crossed over from Umno to PKR because he had been offered a certain post as an inducement.

He said the PR state government had not offered any post or money to the former Parit MP.

In KOTA KINABALU, Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said today Nasaruddin’s crossover from Umno to PKR had tarnished the democratic process in the country.

“The people had placed their trust in someone who stood on one (Umno) ticket. Then he crossed over.

“The voters placed their trust in him not because of the individual himself but because of his capacity in the party he represented which enabled him to win (in the elections),” he told reporters after a gathering with the leaders organised by the Federation of Sabah Chinese Associations.

Shafie said elected representatives should not belittle the party’s struggle by actions similar to that of the Bota assemblyman.

“People are not goods to be traded,” he said.

On the Umno elections in March, in which he is contesting a post of vice-president, Shafie said he was confident the delegates would elect leaders who were acceptable not only to the Malays in the party but also to the Malays and other communities outside the BN.

“If the other communities can accept us, this can help to strengthen the party, especially in the next general election.

“It is most important that communities outside the party accept us because they will also determine the government,” he said.

At the function, Shafie’s ministry donated RM50,000 to the federation to carry out various cultural activities, particularly involving the young.

— BERNAMA