BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 23 — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin hinted more PKR lawmakers could quit the opposition party as his faltering Barisan Nasional campaign in the Permatang Pasir by-election capitalised on the walkout by PKR's Lunas assemblyman.
The Umno deputy president said they would leave as they have lost confidence in the struggles of their leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim whose Pakatan Rakyat has won six out of seven by-elections since Election 2008.
"Many PKR members and elected representatives no longer trust Anwar Ibrahim because they realise that the party's struggles are only for meant one individual, that is Anwar," Bernama quoted Muhydiddin as saying here.
He said the decision of Lunas state assemblyman Mohd Radzhi Salleh to quit the PKR showed that elected representatives from the party no longer cared about their position although they were members of the state executive council.
Muhyiddin said although he was shocked by Mohd Radzi's sudden decision to leave the PKR, nonetheless he had expected it to happen.
Kedah tourism councillor Mohd Radzhi today announced his decision to leave the party and become an independent assemblyman, saying that he had lost confidence in the party's struggles.
He also claimed that 200 Padang Serai PKR members left the party as they had lost confidence in the party's leadership which no longer followed the original objectives of the party's formation.
Muhyiddin said the voters in Permatang Pasir should learn their lesson and should no longer be duped by Anwar's struggles and stop supporting the opposition coalition which was facing more problems.
Umno's scandal-hit candidate Rohaizat Othman, who has been disbarred as a lawyer, is facing Penang PAS state commissioner Mohd Salleh Man in a straight fight in the by-election this Tuesday.
Two PKR lawmakers in Perak quit with a DAP lawmaker last February and brought down the Pakatan state government led by PAS's Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin.
None of the PKR or DAP lawmakers have joined Barisan Nasional although they have pledged support for the federal coalition.
Their resignations have been a blow for Anwar, who predicted he could form the federal government with 30 MPs from Barisan which has ruled the country since Merdeka when the coalition was known as the Alliance.
Anwar's Pakatan won 82 seats in the 222-seat Parliament and five states in Election 2008, breaking the Barisan's traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority.
PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah said today “cash inducements” could have prompted Radzhi to quit, denying the party was facing cracks.
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