PETALING JAYA, 5 June 2009: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has called Pakatan Rakyat (PR) “a coalition of convenience” that is not yet ready to lead the country.
In a posting on his blog today titled Who’s the Boss?, Khairy cited as proof yesterday’s incident where eight out of nine Seberang Perai councillors from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of new Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) president Mokhtar Mohd Jait.
Khairy (File pic) Khairy said: “That PKR politicians brought themselves to boycott an official ceremony in [Penang] already spells trouble for Pakatan.”
The Rembau Member of Parliament (MP) added that the PKR councillors expected a political appointee, and claimed that they had already decided to nominate newly-appointed Penang Deputy Chief Minister I and Penanti assemblyperson Dr Mansor Othman to the post.
“Notwithstanding whether or not Mokhtar was appointed to curb the influence of PKR, this action is a clear indication of DAP setting the agenda,” Khairy said, adding that Jeff Ooi‘s demand that the PKR councillors resign also demonstrated “who the boss is” in Penang.
Ooi, who is the DAP MP for Jelutong and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s chief of staff, yesterday called on the councillor’s immediate resignation following their boycott of the swearing-in ceremony.
Today, two other DAP leaders — Komtar assemblyperson Ng Wei Wik and Soon Lip Chee, the DAP whip in MPSP — also urged the eight PKR councillors to resign immediately.
In response, PKR whip and MPSP councillor Johari Kassim said DAP should mind its own business.
“We were nominated by PKR to sit as councillors.
“It’s for our party to decide on our fate, not DAP,” Johari, who led the boycott yesterday, was quoted in a Malaysiakini report.
“While we have problems in Barisan Nasional, at least we have been and are ready to lead as a team,” said Khairy.
Murky pecking order
Hadi Awang at the muktamar Khairy also commented on PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang‘s opening speech at the 55th PAS muktamar today.
Khairy said “the natural pecking order in Pakatan becomes murkier” when Hadi proclaimed that PAS was ready to lead change and the nation in the 13th general election.
“I have long suspected that Pakatan Rakyat, beneath its superficial unity over the supposedly shared agenda of promoting justice and transparency, is really born out of political expediency and necessity to challenge the Barisan Nasional…,” he said.
He noted that PR did not have any central body to formulate, regulate and institutionalise internal PR.
“Pakatan is struggling to create and sustain a coalition of coherence and this has grave implications about its readiness to form the next federal government…I don’t think they are,” Khairy concluded.