Lunas state assemblyman Mohd Radzhi Salleh today announced he had quit Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to become an independent member of the Kedah legislative assembly.
Mohd Radzhi, who is chairman of the Tourism, Community Development and Human Resources Committee, said he would retain the post of state executive councillor as the appointment was made by the Sultan of Kedah.
His decision to leave PKR was due to loss of confidence in the PKR leadership and in keeping with the dissolution of the PKR Padang Serai division announced by division acting chief Jamaludin Abu Hassan who himself had quit the party, he told a news conference also attended by Jamaludin.
“As an elected representative, I sympathise with the decision to dissolve the division because the divisional members were responsible for my victory in the last general election,” he said.
In the general election last year, Mohd Radzhi beat the BN candidate, S. Ananthan, by a majority of 10,323 votes to win the seat.
Mohd Radzhi said 14 divisional committee members and 200 ordinary members supported the dissolution of the division.
“I am no longer prepared to be in PKR because I feel responsible along with the members and, as a divisional committee member, I am leaving the party in support of the decision,” he said.
Mohd Radzhi said he would continue to serve as an independent state assemblyman and support the federal government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
The Kedah government is administered by the PAS-PKR-DAP coalition.
Replying to a question, Mohd Radzhi denied that he has been bought over by any political party.
In BUKIT MERTAJAM, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, who is in Penang to help in the campaign for the PAS candidate in the Permatang Pasir state by-election, said the status of Mohd Radzhi as a state executive councillor would be determined by the PKR leadership.
He said as the menteri besar he had the right to replace any state executive councillor who no longer represented any party in the Pakatan coalition after getting the consent of the sultan.
“I am waiting for the official letter from PKR on Radzhi’s position and will replace him if PKR advises so. As of now, I have only heard news that Radzhi has left PKR,” he told Bernama.
Azizan, who is also Kedah PAS commissioner, said he would not want to comment on Mohd Radzhi’s departure from PKR as it was the party’s domestic affair.
With Mohd Radzhi quitting PKR, the Kedah assembly now has four PKR assemblymen, two of whom are also state executive councillors. PAS has 16 assemblymen in the house, seven of whom are state executive councillors, while the DAP has one assemblyman. The Barisan Nasional has 14 assemblymen in Kedah.
In PADANG SERAI, former Padang Serai PKR chief Hamid Osman, 68, said he had expected the division to dissolve.
Hamid, who had headed the division since 2004 and quit the party in April, said he and more than 500 others were considering joining Umno.
Another former leader of Padang Serai PKR, Sarji Singh, 45, said he was not surprised over the departure of Mohd Radzhi from PKR as he himself and more than 1,000 PKR members had left the party to join the MIC last year.
Meanwhile, Padang Serai Umno deputy chief Abdul Halim Hasan said Umno was prepared to accept former PKR members for the sake of Malay unity and development.
Padang Serai Gerakan chairman Tang Liang Hiang said the party’s doors were always open for former PKR members and supporters. — Bernama