Thursday, September 11, 2008

BN MPs: We’re not under house arrest

BN MPs: We’re not under house arrest

BARISAN Nasional MPs currently on a study tour to Taiwan are unhappy with reports by Taiwanese and overseas media which give the impression that they are under "house arrest".
According to a report in Nanyang Siang Pau and Sin Chew Daily, a few infuriated MPs flashed their passports and handphones at two Nanyang reporters and a Sin Chew correspondent covering the visit to refute reports that the lawmakers’ travel documents and phones were being retained for "safe-keeping".

They urged the media not to make irresponsible reports that can cause instability in the political situation in Malaysia, and scare off foreign investors.

The MPs felt that they are a mature lot and if they want to defect, they could still do so no matter how the authorities try to "tie them down".

Gelang Patah MP Tan Ah Eng said she was puzzled by the negative reports about the trip.

"They (reports) said we were being ‘confined’. That is ridiculous! Some even said our passports and handphones were being retained to prevent us from cutting short the trip.

"MPs are not three-year-old children. As elected representatives, we will not turn our back on BN for personal interest."

Labis MP Chua Tee Yong believed some media resorted to such baseless reports to increase their readership or circulation, giving the impression that the MPs are indeed under "house arrest".

"We are here to learn and at the same time to relax. If MPs want to jump ship, they would have done so long ago. Why wait until now?"

Despite keeping a low key, the study tour was given wide coverage by foreign wire and Taiwanese dailies partly because Malaysia does not have diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

The report by top-selling Chinese-language United Daily News said Malaysia has learnt the "bang zhuang" culture that is unique to Taiwan.

"Bang Zhuang" is a political term to describe the use of political arm-twisting or government administrative tactics, including the carrot-and-stick approach, by certain party to keep certain people within its turf.

The entourage’s itinerary includes a tour of the Shangrila Leisure Farm in Yilan county, which coincidentally was hit by a magnitude 6.1 quake at 3.43pm (same time in Malaysia) on Tuesday.

The Malaysian delegation was welcomed by representatives from Taiwan’s foreign ministry as well as the manager of Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre in Taipei.

However, the ministry said it made "no political contacts" with the visitors.

In Kuala Lumpur, the Chinese embassy said it is keeping close tabs on the MPs’ visit to Taiwan and urged the Malaysian

government to stick to its "one-China policy" under which no cabinet ministers should make any official visit to the island republic.

Expressing China’s concern on the "agriculture study tour", the embassy’s political affairs attaché, Chen Feng, said China has raised the matter with Malaysia as it is a big entourage and the members are all MPs.

Chen told Nanyang that the embassy was subsequently informed that the study tour was not an official mission.

"That (private tour) is what we have been told, but we hope they would visit China, Macau and Hongkong (instead). (A visit to) Taiwan is, after all, a bit sensitive," he said.

However, he believed that no ties will be strained because of the Taiwan visit.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim confirmed that Wisma Putra has explained to the Chinese the study tour is a private mission.

He said it will not affect Malaysia’s diplomatic relations with China.

seals: I remember sometime back when I was in India, I was told that to keep MP's in the party during a possible crossover time.

The party will invite all the MP's to a vacation stay in a good hotel and provide food and entertainments and make them stay there for few days, but there will be no contact with the outside world.

I guess this is just another way to do it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hehehehe, sounds familiar eh, maybe they go for 'brainwash' course

u know lah