Jan 27, 2009 By : V. Vasudevan and Adrian David
KUALA LUMPUR, Tues:
All Umno state assemblymen and members of parliament in Perak have pledged their support to the party leadership. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said this after a meeting with Perak Umno representatives at his house in Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta, on Monday night.
Najib was responding to the resignation the day before of Bota state assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim from Umno to join Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
He also denied the claims of more BN lawmakers crossing over to the Pakatan Rakyat made by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and others.
“We will continue with our fight for the interests of Umno and the BN. We will also hold similar meetings with the BN representatives in the other states soon,” he told reporters. Among those present was Perak BN chairman Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali.
Najib said he was surprised by Nasaruddin’s defection. “We heard about it two days ago but it’s still a shock. I hope the assemblyman gave his decision some serious thought,” he said at the Gerakan Chinese New Year open house on Monday.
Najib urged all BN assemblymen and members of parliament to be realistic in their expectations and considerate of the coalition’s larger aims.
“It is not right if a member has a personal problem, or is dissatisfied with something, to leave the party in its hour of need,” he said.
At the Monday night meeting, Najib told the Perak Umno elected representatives to unite and work for the party.
He also told them that the party was preparing new strategies and policies to fight the opposition.
MP for Pasir Salak Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman described the meeting as a 'talk' to the elected representatives to focus on the job of serving the rakyat.
“Basically, he told us not to give up. He called on us to work hard and put aside differences for the sake of the party,” Tajuddin said.
An assemblyman who attended the meeting but asked to remain anonymous said seven of them spoke up.
“We highlighted some of the problems we faced and most of them appeared to stem from the party’s recent divisional elections,” he said.
It is understood that some former assemblymen who lost in the divisional elections felt they were being marginalised while incumbent assemblymen and division chiefs who had retained their positions complained of not getting enough support from the divisions.
Najib told the representatives the complaints would be addressed in the coming days.
He said the BN door was still open, at this point at least, for Nasarudin to return.