Former Azmin associates deny being poached for another crossover

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An alleged renewed move to collect statutory declarations (SDs) from MPs has seemed to rock PKR’s boat, with suspicion growing among party members that some of their own would be jumping ship.

As PKR’s wound from its internal rift has yet to properly heal, those aligned to party president Anwar Ibrahim claim that MPs who were loyal to ex-deputy president Azmin Ali are the chief suspects to be part of the “shopping list”.

Bernama

The MPs rumoured to have been approached for their support, however, have denied this.

According to sources within the party, they believe among those approached are Sungai Buloh MP Sivarasa Rasiah and Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, who are known to be Azmin’s followers when the latter was PKR deputy president.

“I heard that the two MPs have been approached by their (old) gang,” said a source.

An MP who is known to be an Anwar loyalist also said similar things when asked if they have heard about Azmin’s former allies in PKR being offered to leave the party.

“I have yet to get confirmation on this, but theoretically, they would be the usual targets,” said the parliamentarian, who is also a party leader.

However, the leader believed that it won’t be easy for those fishing for support to get the SDs from PKR MPs, saying that those rumoured have been approached before but they stayed loyal and reported the attempt to the party.

Both Maria and Sivarasa were in Azmin’s “caidan” (preferred candidate’s list) during the 2018 PKR elections. Azmin’s camp won handsomely.

All MPs on Azmin’s list have defected to Perikatan Nasional save for Sivarasa, Maria, and Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin, who is the PKR information chief.

Malaysiakini has spoken to Sivarasa and Maria following the rumours. However, both denied that they had any intention to abandon PKR.

Sivarasa also said that he has not been approached by anyone in the latest round of political moves.

“I am very surprised to hear that my name is being mentioned. For the record, nobody has contacted me regarding this shopping for MPs.

“The last time I was approached was in February last year, when I was offered to leave PKR. But I have turned it down, and since then, no one else has come to me to make such an offer again,” he told Malaysiakini.

Sivarasa stressed that his stand is “very clear” and wants those who are still wondering to understand that he will always stand with PKR and Pakatan Harapan.

“If I had wanted to jump ship, I would have done it before,” he said.

The MP said that he had voted for Anwar when all MPs were called to the Istana Negara in February last year.

Maria, meanwhile, was upset that she was still being subject to such a question over her loyalty to PKR.

“No. I will not entertain such moves as my priority is to get over this pandemic,” she said in a short reply to Malaysiakini’s request for her comments.

Another MP whose name was mentioned as among those who may be targeted for his SD was Batu representative P Prabakaran.

However, the first-time parliamentarian, who won in the 2018 general election as an independent candidate before joining PKR, also denied that he was approached to shift his support.

“I have not been approached. If anyone does this later, I will inform you,” he said.

On Thursday, PKR issued a strongly-worded statement condemning what they said as an attempt by several MPs to solicit SDs from other parliamentarians.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said that this move was made by the MPs allegedly to acquire positions in the federal government. – Malaysiakini