Saturday, May 24th, 2008
Hopping to start before Gawai?
By Zora Chan
KUCHING: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president Datuk Jeffery Kitingan yesterday claimed that the crossover of Barisan Nasional-elected representatives to Pakatan Rakyat would begin before the end of this month.
“We’re waiting for something to start by the end of this month, before Gawai, and it will start in Sabah,” he told reporters here.
Jeffery, who is the advisor for PKR in Sabah and Sarawak, said once the first BN MP had made the leap, more would follow suit.
He said the Pakatan Rakyat needed at least 30 MPs from both states and the peninsula to form the next government, adding that he was confident that it could be easily achieved. However, he was quick to add that 40 would be ideal as it would make the alliance government stronger and more stable. To a question, Jeffery said more than five MPs in Sarawak had agreed to “jump over” to Pakatan Rakyat but did not disclose when.
“Everyone is waiting for somebody (to cross over),” he said, stressing that these were “real numbers” and the alliance was not playing mind games.
Should all go well, he said, Pakatan Rakyat would form the next government by the end of the year.
He urged MPs from Sabah and Sarawak who were concerned about the people’s welfare and rights to join PKR now that the window of opportunity had opened. He assured that through the Pakatan Rakyat, Sabah and Sarawak would see more representatives in the federal cabinet and in diplomatic and foreign missions.
“Sabah and Sarawak at the moment are losing a lot of money by continuing to support the current federal government operations,” he claimed.
The alliance promised to give both states more oil royalty from five per cent to 20 per cent and this would provide more funds for development, he said. He said Sabah and Sarawak deserved to enjoy higher oil royalty before Malaysia ceased to be net exporter of oil by 2014.
Meanwhile, PKR Sarawak chairman Dominique Ng said after the political tsunami on March 8, more people were joining the party. He said before the elections, Sarawak had about 10,000 PKR members but now the figure had doubled and continued to rise.
On the one-day leadership seminar, Ng who is Padungan assemblyman, said more than 50 people including professionals and senior government officers aged between 30 and 50 years old attended.
PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim officiated at the seminar which was closed to the media.
Ng said the participants would lead new divisions as the party planned to set up 31 divisions throughout the state. To date, 11 divisions had been registered while three awaiting approval from the authorities. He said between 3,000 and 5,000 people would be attending the Lubok Antu division launch today by the party advisor.