Saturday, November 27, 2021

Rift widens in PH over Melaka quartet

DAP's Ramkarpal Singh says accepting the four assemblymen could trigger a negative response from PH supporters, especially in light of its push for anti-hopping laws.

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DAP’s Ramkarpal Singh has spoken out against Anwar Ibrahim over the latter’s defence of four Melaka assemblymen whose defection triggered the collapse of the state government, as a rift within Pakatan Harapan (PH) threatens to grow ahead of the Nov 20 election.

Ramkarpal questioned Anwar’s defence of the quartet, even as a loyalist of the PKR president insisted that it was Amanah which wanted PH to field them.

Anwar had suggested that the four assemblymen, including two who previously defected from PH, should not be viewed in the same way as those who were behind the so-called Sheraton Move which ousted PH from Putrajaya in 2020.

But Ramkarpal, who heads DAP’s legal bureau and had also acted as Anwar’s lawyer, said it was wrong to say that the four had defected in order to return PH rule in Melaka.

“Accepting them would be a grave mistake by PH which may result in the wrath of voters in the coming Melaka state election as well as GE15, which it must avoid,” he said.

He also said the claim that the defection by the four assemblymen was to return the people’s mandate was an afterthought.

“In fact, two of the four were from Umno and were never part of PH.

“To say that the two non-Umno members of the said four were not complicit in the Sheraton Move is wrong as they would have remained in PH after the said move last year if they were not,” he said.

Ramkarpal’s statement appears to contradict PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli’s attack against Amanah leader Mohamad Sabu, accusing him of wanting PH to field the four assemblymen as candidates.

Rafizi also questioned the silence of Amanah leaders on the issue when in fact they were the ones who wanted PH to take in the defecting assemblymen.

“In public, they (Amanah) are silent because it has become a norm that PKR is the one who will take the hit by having to explain the issues,” Rafizi said.

The four who triggered the dissolution of the Melaka state assembly were Idris Haron (Sungai Udang), Nor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundor), Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas) and Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu).

Ramkarpal warned that PH’s supporters will punish the coalition if it accepts the four assemblymen.

“I have said before that PH cannot accept the said four and at the same time push for anti-hopping laws pursuant to the memorandum of understanding that it recently signed with the government as this would be incongruous,” he said.

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