Posted by SM Maulana
Monday, 16 June 2008
(NST) – Barisan Nasional component party leaders expressed doubts about Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s claim that a component party would leave the coalition by the end of the month.
Most interviewed yesterday dismissed the claim as a mere rumour. Kinabatangan Member of Parliament and Umno division chief Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin said the Gua Musang MP’s statement was hearsay.
“BN component party leaders in Sabah and Sarawak have had meetings and there are no signs of anyone leaving the coalition.
“To me, the BN component parties in these two states are loyal to the coalition and there is no question of the MPs leaving,” he said.
“I have doubts about the claim as I do not see any reason why we should leave BN. In the first place, BN won the general election, but with less than a two-third majority. However, the fact remains that we won.
“It is an act of treason and cowardice if they leave BN. It reflects their selfishness.”
Bung Mokhtar said the meetings were attended by former Sabah chief minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee.
Tengku Razaleigh, who is campaigning to contest for the Umno presidency, did not name the party.
He said on Saturday he had received information that one party would leave BN before the end of the month.
Yong, the Sabah Progressive Party president, had said he would give BN until August to resolve the issues in Sabah or party members might leave the coalition.
MIC vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan said he had not heard of any component party leaving the coalition.
“This is the time we should be strong and united. This is also the time for us to rectify whatever weaknesses we have and strengthen ourselves. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
“If they leave, they are cowards who are selfish and have no interest in their voters and the nation. It will show their true colours. This is a trying time for all of us. This is also the time to display our loyalty and commitment to BN.”
MCA vice-president Datuk Ong Tee Keat said he knew nothing about the claim.
“I will have to check but this has nothing to do with the MCA.”
Sarawak United People Party organising secretary Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui said it was only right for BN leaders who wanted to jump ship to discuss their intentions with BN leaders.
“They must have thought about it (crossing over), but they should discuss it first with the leaders. If they want to cross over, that is their prerogative.”