The Malaysian Insider understands that about the dozen or so MPs from Sabah and Sarawak are not keen to cross the aisle to join Pakatan Rakyat (PR) but are also not happy with Putrajaya over the spoils of victory.
“The east Malaysian MPs met Ku Li in his house to discuss their next moves as they are not happy with Putrajaya,” a source told The Malaysian Insider, referring to the politician prince by his moniker.
The MPs, who were elected in the May 5 general election, are here for two days of familiarisation with ethics and parliamentary procedures.
BN took 47 of the 56 federal seats in Sabah and Sarawak, contributing one-third of the 133 federal seats it won in the elections despite both states only having a quarter of the 222 seats in Parliament.
However, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak only doled out 20 ministerial and deputy ministerial posts to east Malaysian MPs, leaving parties like Sarawak’s SPDP without any representatives despite winning four federal seats.
In contrast, the MIC in the Malay peninsula saw all four MPs getting ministerial and deputy ministerial posts in the Najib administration — which has 32 full ministers including eight in the Prime Minister’s Department.
“The east Malaysians don’t want to leave BN but they also want something back for their wins.
“They are seeing Ku Li to see what they can do to express their disappointment,” the source added.
The Kelantan prince had wanted to challenge Najib for the Umno presidency in the last party polls but did not pick up enough nominations to qualify for the contest, whose eventual winner usually becomes the prime minister in a BN government.
He has represented Gua Musang since 1974 and has had his sights on the prime minister’s job several times but has had no success.
Another source said the east Malaysian MPs are the latest to rattle Najib after he won his first personal mandate with fewer seats than his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“Najib is already under pressure from within Umno and now this, just after a poor result in the polls,” he added.
Umno won 88 federal seats in Election 2013, up nine from 2008 but several party veterans have blamed the party and BN’s lacklustre performance on Najib’s “war room” strategists, and hinting that the prime minister might be shown the door if he doesn’t remove his strategists for their bad advice.
“The MPs can’t do much except call for a motion of no-confidence. Getting it on the agenda is already a success to express their disappointment.
“Or they can leave it to Umno members at the year-end party polls to show PM how they feel,” the source added.
The source also said the BN MPs who met Tengku Razaleigh are not expected to reveal their intentions until Parliament starts on June 24.
“Either way, this is just more pressure on Najib to appease all sides in BN,” he added.