The Perak state government has been accused of keeping four Executive Council (Exco) posts vacant as bait to lure State Assemblymen from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to defect.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng also claimed that the appointment of only six Exco members was irresponsible because the task of managing a government was not easy especially when the world was facing an economic crisis.

“How can six people handle all the tasks because the previous government, whether the BN or PR, had 11 Exco members including the menteri besar. Why only six (Exco members) now…?

“They think they are supermen…obviously it is a political reward to strengthen the position of the illegal BN (government) in Perak. It will encourage more Assemblymen to defect to the BN,” he said at a media conference at his office, here, Wednesday.

Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, described the offer of the vacant Exco posts as a promise to any PR Assemblyman to cross over to the BN.

“Maybe, upon crossing over they can be offered the post. Otherwise, why are all the posts not filled up. I feel this is an irresponsible act,” he said.

Yesterday, six new Perak Exco members had taken their oath of office before the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah. They are Datuk Saarani Mohamad, Zainol Padzi Paharudin, Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid, Dr Mah Hang Soon, Hamidah Osman and Datuk Ramly Zahari.

In another development, Lim set Feb 28 as the deadline for Umno and the MCA to pay their outstanding assessments to the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP).

He said there were nine BN political party offices, comprising eight Umno offices and one MCA office, which failed to settle their outstanding assessments totalling RM238,632.17.

— BERNAMA