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Justifying defections, PR-style

“God willing, we will be there. If not next month, the following month, if not June or July, on Merdeka (Aug 31) or Malaysia Day. I think we should not exceed beyond that.”

PARTI Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, talking about the Pakatan Rakyat’s plans to take over the federal government by no later than 16 Sept 2008 through defections of Barisan Nasional (BN) Members of Parliament. He said the PKR-DAP-PAS front was willing to take in political parties from the BN “if they subscribed to the opposition coalition’s agenda for the country.” He also thanked BN MPs for their supposed commitment to cross over. (Source: Anwar: Pakatan Rakyat can take over fed govt by Sept 16, Star, 23 April 2008)

“Saying ‘crossovers are immoral’ is emotive language.”

PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, responding to criticisms that Pakatan Rakyat’s planned (but failed) takeover of the federal government on 16 Sept 2008 through party crossovers was unethical. He held that the state of Malaysian politics “prevented crossovers from being viewed completely in black-and-white terms.” (Source: Justifying 16 Sept, The Nut Graph, 12 Sept 2008)

“Datuk Nasarudin’s presence makes us very proud. His academic achievements, administrative and political experience, and moderate personality enriches the Perak PKR leadership.”

Opposition Leader Anwar, in welcoming Umno member and Bota state assemblyperson Datuk Nasarudin Hashim into the Pakatan Rakyat fold. (Source: Syabas Dato’ Nasa!, Anwar’s blog, 27 Jan 2009)

Nasarudin did not stay his welcome. He joined PKR on 25 Jan, and “re-defected” to Umno on 4 Feb.

“We must go back to the people and get a fresh mandate…The BN are trying to form the state government by hook or by crook — more by crook.”

Opposition Leader Anwar, reacting to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement that the BN had seized control of the Perak state government. This followed the departure of three Pakatan Rakyat state assemblypersons from their respective parties to become independents “friendly” to the BN, as well as Nasarudin’s return to Umno. (Source: M’sia govt regains Perak, AFP as quoted in The Straits Times, 4 Feb 2009)

“When an Umno rep defects to Pakatan, he is leaving a well-known cesspool of corruption. Whereas Pakatan is built on a platform of clean and meritocratic governance. Isn’t this better for constituents?”

PKR information chief Tian Chua, explaining why the Pakatan Rakyat did not see the BN-engineered takeover of the Perak government as equivalent to what the Pakatan itself was trying to do on16 Sept. (Source: Pakatan awaits Sultan’s decision, plans mammoth gathering for Perakians, Suara Keadilan, 5 Feb 2009)

“Even if she had problems with the state DAP leadership and decided to abandon the party, she would not have abandoned the people who voted her in. What she has done not only affected one seat, but caused the collapse of an entire state government and that is an unforgiveable offence that will forever be remembered by all Malaysians.”

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, commenting on Hee Yit Foong’s resignation from the party to be an independent in the Perak state assembly. Hee is the elected representative for Jelapang, and has thrown her support behind the BN. (Source: Not too late for Hee to turn back, says Guan Eng, The Edge Financial Daily, 6 Feb 2009)

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