Dr M: Well-known BN figures ready to jump ship to PH

Dr Mahathir Mohamad says PH party leaders will meet incumbents who were dropped in GE14.

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said several well-known figures from Barisan Nasional (BN) have indicated they are keen to be part of the opposition coalition.

“I cannot name them or they may take me to court. Not that many, but some BN leaders have approached us and have shown their interest,” he told reporters.

He said this after a briefing session for Pakatan Harapan candidates selected for GE14 here today.

Asked for his take on the dropping of some prominent incumbents, such as PKR lawyer N Surendran from the Padang Serai parliamentary seat, Mahathir said this was not uncommon.

“There will always be some incumbents who are dropped in every election.

“They may be disappointed but some will forget their disappointment after a while.

“There are some not chosen as candidates but who will still support their party and the candidates chosen,” he said.

Mahathir added that the various PH party leaders will meet their members who had been dropped.

“We will meet them and talk to them. This is an election and we must stay focused on getting rid of Najib,” he said referring to Prime Minister and BN chairman Najib Razak.

Two camps in PH?

Meanwhile, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail denied claims that there are two camps in PKR.

She was responding to a question on whether PKR had two camps, with some candidates aligned to party vice-president Rafizi Ramli and others to deputy president Azmin Ali.

“This is only a perception,” she said, dismissing such talk as mere speculation.

She was also coy when asked why she chose to contest in the Pandan parliamentary seat instead of the PKR stronghold of Permatang Pauh.

“It is only because the seat is now vacant as Rafizi is unable to contest,” she said.

Rafizi has long announced that he will not be standing as a candidate in GE14, let alone defend his Pandan constituency, due to legal issues that might see him lose his seat.

He was sentenced to 30 months’ jail in February for exposing the bank account details related to the National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd and its chairman, Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

Rafizi also faces 18 months imprisonment in another case under the Official Secrets Act for leaking the classified 1MDB audit report last year.

His convictions and jail sentences, unless overturned in his appeals, will disqualify him from contesting in the coming elections.

Article 48 of the Federal Constitution disqualifies a person from being an MP for five years should the elected representative be convicted and sentenced to more than one year in jail, or fined more than RM2,000.

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