The Star - June 1, 2008 By NIK KHUSAIRI IBRAHIM
The Pakatan Rakyat state government has started its second round of offering positions in state committees to Umno assemblymen to create a “new political culture.”
Mohammad Fairus (Right)
Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin said the offers did not mean that Pakatan Rakyat did not have candidates in its coalition to take up the posts.
“We do have a pool of better candidates, but we have our reasons for offering the posts to Umno leaders.
“We’re inviting friends from other (opposition) parties to create mature and professional politics,” he said after opening a paintball challenge at Stadium Bandaraya here yesterday. He was asked to comment on Pakatan Rakyat's second attempt to offer Umno assemblymen posts in several state committees.
It was reported that Sungai Acheh assemblyman Datuk Mahmud Zakaria, Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah (Seberang Jaya), Muhammad Farid Saad (Pulau Betong), Datuk Azhar Ibrahim (Penaga) and Shabudin Yahaya (Permatang Berangan) have been offered positions.
The assemblymen, who had turned down similar offers before, received offer letters from the state last week.
Fairus said the decision not to exclude opposition party leaders was part of the state's aim to create a developed state.
“Politics is not dirty as perceived by certain quarters. That is why we want to build a new image and improve the political culture, as shown by leaders during the Islamic civilisation.”
Asked if the state would ask the Umno leaders again if the second round of offers was rejected, Fairus said: “It is like asking a person for her hand in marriage. If your proposal is rejected, will you still propose to the same person?”
On another matter, Fairus said the state is re-evaluating the poverty line in the state in view of the rising cost of fuel and goods.
“We want to overcome poverty problems and uplift the people’s standard of living.”