23 June 2013

No BN MP will unseat PM Najib, says Shahidan

Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim does not believe any Barisan Nasional MP will propose or support a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a course of action some believe possible given the level of restlessness among a group of East Malaysian MPs. 

He should know. Since being sworn in as a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, the Umno veteran has been playing the role of a trouble-shooter, reaching out to disgruntled Barisan MPs. 

One MP, who was bypassed for a position in the cabinet despite winning by a healthy majority said that Shahidan spoke to him and assured him that he would be rewarded with a position in a government agency. Others are also waiting for some promises to be fulfilled by July, when Umno grassroots start deciding on the party's top office bearers. 

To be sure, Barisan last night held a dinner for all coalition MPs at the Umno headquarters, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), a day ahead of Parliament opening today. 

Shahidan himself expressed confidence to The Malaysian Insider that Najib's Cabinet was reflective of the results of the 13th general election, and all parties, including Sabah and Sarawak MPs have already been given their spots. 

"Impossible for BN to move a no-confidence motion against the PM. Who is going to do it? Surely not BN,” he told The Malaysian Insider. "If the Opposition is going to propose it, don't tell me BN MPs will support it?” he added. 

The former Perlis mentri besar also said that it was not surprising if Barisan MPs from Sabah and Sarawak had met Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, as the Kelantan prince was a veteran in Malaysian politics. 

However, he added that he was not aware that a large number of Barisan MPs from East Malaysia had met the former finance minister. "Not impossible if one or two of them met him because he is an old-timer,” he said, referring to Tengku Razaleigh. 

Sources told The Malaysian Insiderrecently that Tengku Razaleigh had met a group of Barisan MPs from Sabah and Sarawak who were unhappy because they were not given Cabinet or other government posts.

Najib has been facing mounting pressure from both within and outside Umno after Election 2013 when Barisan won just 133 federal seats, seven less than in the 2008 general elections. 

The East Malaysian MPs contributed one-third or 47 federal seats. But Najib only handed out 20 minister and deputy minister posts to MPs from East Malaysia, causing parties like SPDP from Sarawak to have only one representative although they won four parliament seats. 

The MIC, on the other hand, got four of its MPs posted as minister and deputy ministers in the Cabinet, which has 32 full ministers, including the eight in the Prime Minister's Department. – June 24, 2013.


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