A FIERY verbal war took place as ex-PKR MP Datuk Zahrain Mohd Hashim turned against his former party, telling the Dewan Rakyat he was disappointed by the Opposition that had become engulfed with greed and self-interest and exposed its plan to take over the Government on Sept 16, 2008.
Zahrain, who spoke as an independent MP for the first time, was interrupted again and again by shouts and jeers from angry Pakatan Rakyat MPs with loud retaliation from the backbenchers. At one point, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and several other PKR leaders walked out of the Dewan in a show of protest.
The Bayan Baru MP called Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng a dictator and communist, saying he (Zahrain) had to get out of PKR and become an independent MP on Feb 12 as he now doubted the party’s struggle.
“I didn’t plan to bring up the issue but due to the character assassination against me, my family and friends who decided to move out of PKR, I have no choice but to tell you why I decided to leave,” he said when debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address.
He said his doubts stemmed from changes in the PKR struggle which went through a reformation and turned into an agenda of self-interest.
The Sept 16 agenda was manipulated, he said.
“We were used and lied to when they said the number of those waiting to jump over to PKR was more than enough,” Zahrain said.
He said that they were deceived with the story that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was waiting for them at the palace to approve the number of Barisan MPs who were going to join their party.
“We were told that the King had agreed that (Opposition Leader Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim would be the sixth Prime Minister,” he said.
Anwar, who was present in the Dewan, told Zahrain to correct his statement and the latter rebutted by saying: “You don’t lie.”
At this juncture, N. Gobalakrishnan (PKR–Padang Serai) pressed the ex-PKR man to retract the remark.
Zahrain also claimed that he and his former coalition mates were told to go to Parliament for the takeover of power.
An irate Tian Chua (PKR–Batu) demanded to know why it had taken Zahrain more than a year to talk about the planned September takeover.
When Anwar and several PKR MPs walked out, Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) chided them, asking them why they could not take criticism from Zahrain when Anwar himself had hit out against Barisan Nasional in the last three hours in his speech.
Replying to accusations against Lim, Gobalakrishnan pointed out to Zahrain that it was he who became power crazy after two years.
When he alleged that Zahrain had wanted a particular project to be given to him, the Bayan Baru MP challenged him to make the statement out of the House.
Just after 5.30pm, Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee postponed the debate.