BBC chief: 48 MPs have said aye to trip
PUTRAJAYA: Forty-eight Government MPs have responded to the Barisan Backbenchers Club (BBC) suggestion for a study trip overseas, probably to China or Taiwan.
Its chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the response was not bad and that a few more MPs would give their confirmation today.
They want to see if they can complete in time all the activities they have planned previously for their constituency for the puasa month.
The other 48 MPs have confirmed that they are going and they include those from peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. We are opening the trip to everybody, he said here yesterday.
Tiong was responding to reports that response from the MPs for the study trip, scheduled for Sept 7 to 19, had been lukewarm.
Barisan Nasional MPs had been asked to submit their passports for an overseas study trip ahead of Sept 16, the date which is being bandied about for supposed defections to take place.
The trip was supposedly for MPs to update themselves with the latest information about agriculture and high-tech food production so that they could debate better on the Budget when Parliament sits again in October.
Asked if it was true that the MPs were headed to Australia as was reported on some websites, Tiong said he had met with the sub-committee in the club arranging the trip.
However, we have yet to decide whether we should go to China or Taiwan. We have to weigh the pros and cons of these two destinations because for China, we will need to apply for visas.
In Kota Kinabalu, BBC deputy chairman Datuk Bung Moktar Radin, who revealed that he would be going on the trip, said he expected about 70% of the 78 members to do so.
The Kinabatangan MP said: It has nothing to do with the Sept 16 issue. This is just an educational agricultural field trip.
Some MPs, when contacted, said that they were not going. Among them were Datuk Anifah Aman (Kimanis), Datuk Abdul Ghafur Salleh (Kalabakan), Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau).
Some felt it was not the right time for them to go as they were busy with programmes with their constituents for the fasting month…
Many Sabah MPs said that the Opposition’s claim of Sept 16 was
a non-event as there did not
appear to be any real sign of defections.
Some MPs pointed out that it did not matter where an MP was as he could announce his crossover from anywhere.
It is not like the 1960s or even the 1980s when you took a group of MPs and holed them up overseas, said a Sabah MP who declined to be named and felt that the certain groups within Barisan were overreacting to the Sept 16 talk.
Sabah Umno assistant secretary Datuk Masidi Manjun said that Sept 16 was just a political psy-war by the Opposition and Sabah Barisan members were mature enough to read the situation.
Gelang Patah MP Tan Ah Eng said in Johor Baru that she received an SMS on Wednesday inviting her for the trip and that she was considering going even though she did not know the destination.
look like bribery to me…
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