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By G Vinod
KUALA LUMPUR: The latest defection to hit Pakatan Rakyat is shaping out to be a tale of intrigue, peppered with allegations of theft and blackmail.
And as usual, the alleged chief antagonist is Umno.
The plot centres around RM45,000 which purportedly went missing from the law firm of Keshvinder Singh, the Malim Nawar state assemblyperson who quit DAP this afternoon.
While Keshvinder denied Umno having a hand in this, Perak DAP vice-chairman A Sivanesan however claimed otherwise.
According to the Sungkai assemblyman, Keshvinder had related his ordeal when the two met some three weeks ago.
“He told me that one of his clerks in the law firm had embezzled RM45,000 of his client's money and he was in a fix.
“Unfortunately for him, the news reached Umno. From then on, they used this issue against him and coaxed him into defecting,” he said, adding that he had advised Keshvinder to file a police report.
Sivanesan said that Keshvinder had revealed this to several other DAP leaders, including Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran.
He also challenged Keshvinder to deny that he had informed him and the rest about this issue.
Contacted later, Kulasegaran not only confirmed this, but added another twist to the plot, claiming that the clerk who had allegedly absconded with the money was linked to Umno.
“Keshvinder told me that the Umno-linked clerk had not only run off with the money but also took along the client's receipts.
“He was worried that the receipts could be manipulated to tarnish him,” he said, adding that he too had advised Keshvinder to lodge a report with the authorities.
“He (Keshvinder) went missing yesterday and we feared the worst,” he said.
Kulasegaran also urged Keshvinder “to do the honourable thing” and resign as state assemblyman since he had won the seat under a DAP ticket.
Perak fell into the hands of Barisan Nasional after the defection of several Pakatan MPs, leading to the allegation that they were paid a hefty sum to abandon ship. A charge which BN has denied.
On Feb 25, 2009, Keshvinder himself filed a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission claiming that he was offered RM20 million to defect to BN.
In a related matter, Sivanesan lashed out at Keshvinder for accusing DAP of not supporting him in serving his constituency.
“ When he was offered to contest in the 2008 general election, we told him clearly that the BN government may not provide allocations to constituencies under opposition control.
“At the time he said that he understood the situation and was ready to contest. Opposition reps in Malacca, Johor and Negri Sembilan are also not getting proper allocations but we find ways to raise funds to serve our constituencies,” he said.
“The people know and understand our predicament. That is why they believe in our cause” he added.