KUALA LUMPUR (April 24, 2008): By Husna Yusop
Former Gerakan deputy-secretary general Datuk Lee Kah Choon put himself in an "untenable" position in Barisan Nasional (BN) when he accepted appointments offered by the Penang Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said it is BN's policy that none of its members accept positions offered by the PR government.
"It is unfortunate that he has chosen to accept the positions, making his status as a member of BN untenable. We cannot accept a situation in which BN component party members accepted positions offered by the opposition."
"That is a clearly stated policy of BN," he said to reporters yesterday when asked to comment on Lee’s decision to quit Gerakan.
Lee had said since his decision to accept the appointments are not acceptable to the Gerakan leadership, it is best for him to retreat totally from party politics.
Speaking to reporters on the last day of the 11th Defence Services Asia 2008 today, Najib also said there is no need to set up a commission to investigate the reasons for the decline of support for Umno in the recent election.
On Wednesday, Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said if a commission could be set up for the judiciary and anti-corruption, such a commission can also be set up for Umno.
On Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s claim that PR is in a position to form the federal government and it will be done no later than Sept 16, Najib said: "He can claim anything.
"He will claim a lot of things. It is part of the political games-manship which he is playing," he said.
Asked whether he expects more BN members to leave the party, especially from Sabah and Sarawak, Najib said: “We don’t expect them to leave the party. I hope they will be loyal to BN as BN has done a lot for our country.
"BN gave them the victory because they contested on the BN ticket. They must be confident that the country’s future is more guaranteed under the BN."