Saturday, March 13, 2010

Zahrain: Can’t make me quit

Zahrain said he was not PKR’s MP, but the people’s MP. — file pic

Bayan Baru Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Seri Mohd Zahrain Hashim has reiterated that he would not relinquish his position as MP.

He said he would not give in to pressure from those calling on him to vacate the seat as he is an elected representative for Bayan Baru.

“I am very clear with my stand and I would like to continue serving the people, especially in Bayan Baru, as an independent MP,” he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama at his new office in Bayan Baru, here, today.

He stressed that he did not betray the voters and would continue serving the constituents as he had informed the Parliament Speaker of his status as an independent MP.

“The PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) members should know that I am not an MP for the party; I am an MP for the people. They cannot stop me from continuing to serve the people,” he said.

Mohd Zahrain said in the 2008 general election, he received about 27,000 votes from the people of Bayan Baru in order for him to become their MP.

“I believe that not all of them want me to vacate the seat, but only a small group who may be influenced by PKR which wants me to quit.

“I think that in the democratic process, it is my right whether to vacate the seat or not.” He said he felt betrayed by the party instead.

“After the major loss in the 2004 general election, I was assigned to the task as the PKR state chairman to rebuild the party.”

He said he had sacrificed for the party during its hard times but was eliminated after the party came into power (in Penang).

He added that the problem with PKR was that it was compromising too much with its coalition partner, the DAP.

“I am still all for reformation but succumbing to the DAP, especially to Lim Guan Eng who is Penang Chief Minister, would destroy Pakatan Rakyat,” he said, adding that he left PKR because it had gone off-track.

Asked whether any Barisan Nasional (BN) MP had approached him, Mohd Zahrain said none so far but admitted that he had gone on a trip to the United States with several BN MPs and ministers from Feb 20 to 28.

“As far as I am concerned, I have no intention of joining any other party. I will remain an independent. I will stand on my own,” he said.

In January, Zahrain had accused Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, of being “a dictator, a chauvinist and communist-minded”, setting off a verbal battle in the media among leaders of PKR, DAP and PAS before he quit PKR on Feb 12. — Bernama

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