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Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
Mas Gading MP denies jumping ship By Churchill Edward
Dr Tiki says he has met PM and DPM to assure them of his loyalty to BN
KUCHING: Mas Gading member of parliament Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe yesterday denied that he was defecting to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) after he was dropped from the new federal cabinet line-up. Dr Tiki, a Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) vice president, spoke to The Borneo Post on the telephone to say that he met Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday morning and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the afternoon.
“I met them to reassure them that I am a BN loyalist,” Dr Tiki said, adding he was unhappy with the rumours spread about him by people known to him.
In an SMS later, the MP said that these people would not stop their personal attacks against him until “…they get what they had wanted (getting him out of politics.)” Dr Tiki’s purported resignation from SPDP came immediately after the rumoured resignation of Serian MP Datuk Richard Riot Jaem from the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Wednesday.
Riot was still out of reach and he has not denied or confirmed the alleged resignation though news of it was splurged over all press medium. Nonetheless, SUPP president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan had denied receiving a resignation letter from Riot. However, he agreed that Riot could be upset that he was not appointed to the federal cabinet though SUPP had proposed him as a parliamentary secretary.
Resignation rumours have been sending shock waves through the BN due to claims by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that he was talking to some BN MPs about joining his party.
Dr Tiki, Riot and Mambong MP Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit, who is a Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council member, are the only three Bidayuh MPs.
All three were believed to have been proposed by their parties for posts in the federal cabinet but none of them were appointed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Dr Tiki was Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister in the previous cabinet. Prior to the March 8 election, there were even rumours that he would even be dropped from the BN’s list of candidates.