Jan 30, 2009 By CLARA CHOOI
IPOH: Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim said he is brave enough to leave Umno and join PKR.
“If I was weak, I would not have been brave enough to join PKR. I still have the fighting spirit in me,” he said after meeting his constituents on Friday night.
He said the decision to leave Umno was not made because he could not contest in the party’s division elections last year.
“It has nothing to do with the fact that I did not hold any position in the party. The thought never cropped up,” he said.
He urged other Umno assemblymen keen to join the PKR to do so now. “I believe they are mature enough to think for themselves.”
Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had described Nasarudin as weak for crossing over to PKR and that he had put his self-interest above that of Umno’s struggles.
“If you are strong, you will face up to all challenges that come your way,’’ Abdullah had said.
A large crowd turned up to hear Nasarudin and PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speak.
Nasaruddin said: “I have never seen such a large crowd not even for my ceramah (political address) during the general election (in March last year). It is clear that the people support me and they are happy.”
He told the crowd that PKR did not offer him anything.
“I was not given money or offers, nothing. I was taught to be truthful since I was a child. I was taught to never be a liar,” he said.
Anwar told the crowd that several Barisan Nasional assemblymen had contacted him to join PKR. He refused to elaborate on the matter when approached by reporters.