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Friday March 21, 2008

Umno probe on defection claims


PUTRAJAYA: Umno will gather intelligence to see if there is any truth to the Opposition’s claims that some Barisan Nasional MPs and assemblymen are “crossing over”. 

Its secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor also warned the Opposition not to be “stupid enough” to try to buy over any Barisan MP. 

“As the newly appointed Umno secretary-general, I will send out our intelligence people to check on the ground whether there is any truth to such claims. 

“Our MPs and assemblymen know that BN and Umno are the only coalition and only party for them,” he told reporters after participating in the Maulidur Rasul celebration at Putra Mosque here yesterday. 

Tengku Adnan was commenting on reports quoting PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as saying that the party welcomed any Barisan assemblyman or MP wishing to cross over. 

Anwar also said that he had met several Barisan leaders during his visit to Sabah and Sarawak. 

Tengku Adnan said if there were such attempts by the Opposition, they were only trying to take advantage of the apparently gloomy outlook for the coalition. 

“But it is not a gloomy outlook for us. Our calculation shows that Barisan still managed to garner some 51.2% of the votes. 

“That means both Barisan and Umno are still relevant,” he said. 

Tengku Adnan said the coalition would zoom in on Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan as well as the seats in the Federal Territories lost to the Opposition in the recent general election. 

“Maybe our component partners were weak in these states or there was infighting within the Umno division.  

“We will conduct an in-depth analysis on all these places,” he said, adding that the coalition might have to come up with different approaches to reclaim those states. 

“We have to start working immediately,” he said. 

On the resignations of Umno leaders, Tengku Adnan said they should realise that party’s interests should come above all and that they should work harder. 

Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad resigned as BN and Umno secretary-general and former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo quit as Selangor Umno and BN chairman yesterday.  

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