Friday, September 12, 2008

Touring MPs in Taiwan poised for early homecoming

The recent study tour of the Barisan Nasional Backbencher's Club to Taiwan's agricultural sector was to be cut short; bringing the bulk of its MPs back to Malaysian soil 3 days ahead of their scheduled return. The group was expected to return on September 16 - the same day the Opposition plans to takeover the government but the decision was made to bring it ahead of its schedule.

In fact, Backbencher's Club chairman Datuk Tiong King Sing said that some of the participating MPs had already departed from Taiwan a few days earlier. [The Malaysian Insider, 12/9/08] The rest will follow suit on September 13.

The early return could deprive Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of any excuse if he ever fails to form a new government by September 16; a move which the Barisan Nasional government deemed impossible. But the club's earty return could also be a blessing in disguise for the Opposition with an extra of 3 days to finalise any details of the inevitable takeover.

According to Malaysiakini, the Opposition camp have sent 5 representatives to Taiwan on September 12 in attempt to woo any BN MPs into crossing over to opposite side of the Dewan Rakyat. They are:

  • Deputy President, Dr. Lee Boon Chye
  • Party Strategist, Saifuddin Nasution
  • Deputy Director of Elections, Fuziah Salleh
  • Party Information Chief, Tian Chua
  • Wanita PKR Publicity Chief, Elizabeth Wong
Anwar had earlier conceded that the takeover of the federal government might be delayed due to the Taiwan trip but assured that he has the numbers (MPs) to do so. Could the early return of the Backbencher's Club prompt a takeover on September 16 after all?

However, Deputy Chairman of the club, Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin was not convinced that any of his members were willing to meet the Opposition entourage or even considering switching loyalties.

We'll just have to wait see...