Xavier Jayakumar should not have been compelled to go over to the Perikatan Nasional government’s side if he was not involved in dubious deals and projects, said DAP’s P Ramasamy, while questioning the former PKR vice-president’s apparent haste to quit his party.
He called Xavier’s PKR colleague Sivarasa’s statement that the Kuala Langat MP was a victim of selective prosecution a “lame excuse” for Xavier’s decision.
Sivarasa had said that Xavier was forced to support the Perikatan Nasional government because of the MACC’s selective prosecution of him.
Ramasamy said: “That is just a lame excuse to conceal MACC investigations into some unsavoury deals Xavier and his close associates were engaged in.”
Ramasamy said as a seasoned politician Xavier should have stood his ground.
“Xavier should not have crumbled that easily. If he was not guilty, why worry?
“He should have followed the example of his leader Anwar Ibrahim who stood his ground despite being imprisoned twice.”
Xavier was not the first Pakatan Harapan politician to be subjected to threats and intimidation by the government, but the others did not buckle, Ramasamy said.
The question now is: was Xavier involved in shady business, he asked.
He said the former water, land and natural resources minister had caved even before he was charged.
The rapid manner in which Xavier threw in his towel and leapfrogged to the PN side could lend credence to MACC’s allegations, Ramasamy said.
Xavier was the third PKR MP to quit the party in recent weeks after Julau MP Larry Sng and Tebrau MP Steven Chong left to back Muhyiddin Yassin as independents.
In a statement yesterday, Xavier said that he had grown extremely frustrated following the events of the past year.
Xavier said the opposition was pressing for elections when it should be helping the government to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ramasamy again poured scorn on Xavier’s justification for his defection.
“Who is Xavier to suggest that the general election needs to be held off for the next 18 months or so, until the vaccination process is completed?”
Ramasamy said the state of emergency which suppressed the opposition provided the perfect opportunity for PN to weaken its rivals.
“Whether the PN government is fighting the pandemic or not, it is certainly engaged in buying over the opposition.”
Xavier’s departure followed the arrest of Perak PKR deputy chairman MA Tinagaran last month over graft allegations.
Initial media reports had identified Tingaran as a special officer to Xavier when he was a minister in the Pakatan Harapan government – a link Xavier denied.
“In a recent media report, my name was implicated, and it has brought prejudice against me as an elected representative.
“Acting on the advice of my family and friends, I am here to clear my name with the authorities. Leaders tied to corruption must be accountable to preserve the integrity of our institution, and we are responsible to show good governance.
“MA Tinagaran was not an aide of mine, as falsely reported, but a close family friend,’’ Xavier said.
Meanwhile, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution said the government is using the carrot and stick approach to induce opposition lawmakers to jump ship.
He said the minority government was employing the police, Inland Revenue Board and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to intimidate opposition MPs into defecting.
“Dr Xavier recently met with the Keadilan leadership to inform them that the MACC targeted him after detaining his political secretary, private secretary and several others in an investigation.
“Subsequently, Dr Xavier was also contacted by a senior minister and warned that he should support Perikatan Nasional or face serious consequences,” Saifuddin said in a statement. – TMI