Real reformists stand the test of time, PKR sec-gen says after its third MP quits to bat for Muhyiddin

Debra Chong
·3-min read
Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution (pic) said Dr Xavier’s resignation decision this morning affirmed his previous claim a few weeks back that there is a structured attempt by the current government to gain the support of Opposition MPs through both offers of rewards and threats using state agencies as instruments.— Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution (pic) said Dr Xavier’s resignation decision this morning affirmed his previous claim a few weeks back that there is a structured attempt by the current government to gain the support of Opposition MPs through both offers of rewards and threats using state agencies as instruments.— Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail urged his fellow Opposition MPs to hold fast to their party’s reform struggle after the abrupt resignation of its vice-president and Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar today.

Saifuddin who is Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP said Dr Xavier’s departure raises many questions, not least his previous claim of a concerted and methodical effort to deplete the Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition’s ranks through enticement and threat.

“As someone who has long known Dr Xavier Jayakumar — his actions and excuses in his statement today raises many questions.

“However, what differentiates a genuine reformist from others is the ability to withstand tests in easy and hard times,” he said in a statement.

Saifuddin said Dr Xavier’s resignation decision this morning affirmed his previous claim a few weeks back that there is a structured attempt by what he called the “minority government” to gain the support of Opposition MPs through both offers of rewards and threats using state agencies as instruments, naming the police, the tax office and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

He said Dr Xavier had met with PKR leaders prior to his resignation and claimed that he was under MACC investigations in relation to an ongoing case involving several of his aides and acquaintances.

He further alleged that Dr Xavier was later contacted by a senior minister who purportedly told him to support the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition or face dire consequences.

“It is clear this minority government today has layers of excuses, using the Emergency and suspending Parliament while at the same time working to get the support of more MPs by using certain agencies through tactics like reward offers, pressure and threats,” Saifuddin said.

He stressed that PKR is a reformist party grounded on fighting corruption, power abuses and violations of the law for all and will not bow to pressures to compromise on its principles.

“Keadilan and Pakatan Harapan will remain on its present course to step up preparations for GE15 and at the same time work to return the mandate by Malaysians according to the law and the constitution,” Saifuddin said.

Dr Xavier’s departure is the third from PKR this year, after Julau MP Larry Sng and Tebrau MP Steven Choong last month. Both also declared themselves independents in support of Muhyiddin who is also Bersatu president.

Rumours have been circulating since last month that PN is making overtures to Opposition lawmakers in an attempt to win its parliamentary majority after three Umno MPs openly dropped support for Muhyiddin.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, another former PKR leader, hinted on Twitter today that Dr Xavier may not be the last lawmaker to switch allegiances.

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