1st class – Independent MPs; 2nd class – BN MPs

by Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the prime minister’s decision to bring two independent lawmakers to the US was because “the Barisan Nasional (BN) wants to maintain its majority in Parliament.”

Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim and Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin — both former PKR lawmakers — will be part of the Malaysia-United States Caucus to be launched by the prime minister next Wednesday

“It is like this because the Opposition is practising bloc voting so we must make sure that BN at every moment… must have more lawmakers than them.

“Because of that, I have made the decision not to send BN Members of Parliament to follow the prime minister. We have decided that during a Parliamentary sitting, we won’t allow any BN Members of Parliament to leave the country,” he told reporters in Parliament today.

DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang earlier ridiculed the segmented Malaysia-United States Caucus because it did not have any representative from the Opposition which accounts for more than a third of the House.

Lim also mocked BN lawmakers, calling them second-class MPs because only independent MPs were chosen for the trip.

Nazri had a different explanation for the exclusion of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs.

“At the same time, I did not send Opposition lawmakers who are not independent because I do not want to be accused of trying to decrease their numbers. Because of that I didn’t send lawmakers from BN or Opposition. I sent independents because they do not vote for BN or Opposition. It would not be a problem if I sent 10 independents.”

Nazri said that it was the government’s policy not to allow Cabinet members to travel overseas when there is a Parliamentary sitting.

“There is no grumbling about the decision. BN MPs have accepted that when there is a Parliament sitting that ministers and the Cabinet are not allowed to leave the country. That is why only Rais is following the PM.

“This is Kit Siang’s fault because every time there is a vote, they want bloc voting.”

Najib’s move to only allow two independent MPs in the caucus is seen as a precautionary measure after his debut Budget 2010 was nearly scuttled by the Pakatan Rakyat last year as it barely got through by a 66-63 vote margin at the third reading in the Dewan Rakyat.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 4:35 pm

    NR should follow Chew Mei Fun n resign rather than accept CSL’s tainted past

  2. #2 by dagen on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 4:43 pm

    Ai apa cakap u?

  3. #3 by dagen on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 4:49 pm

    Saying that it was kit siang’s fault is saying that democracy sucks. And that statement really sucks and it can only come from someone who sucks.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 5:11 pm

    “At the same time, I did not send Opposition lawmakers who are not independent because I do not want to be accused of trying to decrease their numbers. Because of that I didn’t send lawmakers from BN or Opposition. I sent independents because they do not vote for BN or Opposition. It would not be a problem if I sent 10 independents” – Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz

    No there are problems.

    In principle, the delegation to Malaysia-United States Caucus should comprise of MPs/representatives from BN, Independents as well as Opposition having more than 1/3 voting strength in Parliament.

    The “Independents” cannot be counted as Opposition’s reps though they may be ex-PKR/PR’s and especially so when the two MPs Zulkifli Noordin and Datuk Zahrain have been critical of the Opposition and its head at the time of or soon after their breaking ranks from PKR.

    How can they be considered truly “independent” in the sense that they “do not vote for BN or Opposition” (as Nazri says) when they were not independent from day one but part of PKR/PR and broke ranks precisely because of disagreement with the Opposition and its head?

    Hence the delegation is significantly not representative of Parliament composition here, and there’s also a risk that the US’s side will not deem the Malaysian delegation as representative of Malaysian Parliament.

    Also if the Caucus were to serve as a platform through which joint programmes might be planned involving US Congress members and Malaysian MPs, would it be fair to exclude Opposition MPs or to have a situation where US Congress members seeking feedback would be skewed by inputs negative against the Opposition without any of its MPs there to rebut or correct any erroneous negative impression?

    The Minister’s excuse that he didn’t want to be accused of “decreasing Opposition’s number” does not arise.

    I don’t think Opposition needs him to think of its advantage in terms of bloc voting, diminished, if Opposition reps were to be sent to the Caucus.

    All one has to do is to consult and make the offer. It’s really up to them (Opposition) whether it wants to refuse the offer or accept at its own peril when it comes to bloc voting. However I don’t think an offer has even been made to the Opposition! Nor has it been consulted!

  5. #5 by Loh on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 6:50 pm

    Former Home Minister Syed Hamid said that ISA was meant to protect the detainees, and now Nazri explains that MPs who have parliementary business should remain in the country. It only shows that UMNO ministers just utter nonsense that come to their mind when they have to give an answer.

    The junket for the turncoats was to ensure that the turncoats wouldn’t change their mind, and it serves to demonstrate to them what more good things might come their way if they rejoin UMNO. That is bribery. It seems that it is cheaper to bribe the elected representatives than to bribe the electors. The voters should join the election en mass, since vote buying has taken a change after PKR and DAP toads showed the way.

  6. #6 by ekompute on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 6:56 pm

    “It is like this because the Opposition is practising bloc voting so we must make sure that BN at every moment… must have more lawmakers than them.”

    I like it when the pot is calling the kettle black. Is it not true that BN MPs have always been chastised when they do not practise bloc voting? Shahrir Abdul Samad’s case is deeply etched in my mind.

  7. #7 by ReformMalaysia on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 7:21 pm

    Zulkifli & Zahrain on “free holiday trip” to US?

    Is that part of the “package” offered by UMNO for their role and action recently?

  8. #8 by kpt99 on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 7:40 pm

    Never mind lah,UNTUNG dulu,SUSAH nanti,Fly them to the moon in next GE.

  9. #9 by sotong on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 7:49 pm

    Malaysians expect very little credibility and integrity from the politicians.

  10. #10 by Dipoh Bous on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 7:58 pm

    …perhaps we should change “potiticians” to “polite sapiens” ? LOL

  11. #11 by DCLXVI on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 8:25 pm

    ReformMalaysia: “Zulkifli & Zahrain on ‘free holiday trip’ to US?”

    Maybe Najib wants to impress the Americans with the Malaysian version of ZZ Frogs.. err sorry, I meant ‘ZZ Top’…

    ReformMalaysia: “Is that part of the “package” offered by UMNO for their role and action recently?”

    Do frogs hop and croak?

  12. #12 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 8:41 pm

    Gee. What a considerate and caring politician Nazri is. He takes care of all your interests. And still you all complain.

    Who’s is charge of the caucus? Parliament?, UMNO? BN? APCO? Which is the authority? Why did the previous caucus fail? Who bears the bills of these “junkets”? Who decides?

    Maybe it is better the Opposition did not participate as the US Congress can see at first hand how the BN government discriminates and operates. Let them see and meet our Malaysian “frogs”.

  13. #13 by yhsiew on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 9:08 pm

    ///Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim and Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin — both former PKR lawmakers — will be part of the Malaysia-United States Caucus to be launched by the prime minister next Wednesday///

    Poor Zahrain and Zulkifli have been made use of by Najib. They should boycott the trip to US!

  14. #14 by frankyapp on Thursday, 8 April 2010 - 9:21 pm

    How interesting malaysian politic is,frogs get to go on free holiday trip to US while the loyal ones must stay at home as watchdogs .LOL.

  15. #15 by DCLXVI on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 12:06 am

    Najib said that he is going to meet US President Barack Obama.
    He better be prepared if Obama were to ask him why US Democrat & Republican congressmen only got to meet him, Rais and those two so-called independent (renegade turncoat) MPs, but no Malaysian opposition MPs.
    Is he going to reply in the similar way he had answered to that Al-Jazeera interviewer about whether he’s Malaysian first?

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 12:18 am

    Their agenda could be more than what the eyes see. The Malaysia-United States Caucus represents an opportunity to fraternise with US’s congressmen influencing US foreign policies. Improving bilateral trade relations with the US is only but a part of the objective. More important is to “charm” the congressmen to hold a more neutral if not favourable view of the government and not side Anwar Ibrahim, whether on the Sodomy or other issues. For that, the government’s side of the story must be explained, Anwar has to be disparaged and cast in unfavourable light to sever the umblical cord of support linked to the Americans… And who better will corroborate the Govt’s version of Anwar than Anwar’s own ex-trusted PKR colleaques, now turned so called ‘independent’ going along to the Caucus to testify? That is why no Opposition MPs are invited. They might rebut or contradict that official version!

    Now the APCO’s controversy provides another perfect excuse to disparage Anwar.

    APCO itself is a US consultancy corporation. Sure it has Jewish links, whether consultants, shareholders or strategic partners/affliates. However does that make APCO incompetent or a villian?

    It is a separate entity from those it works for or with and these are not only Jews/Zionists but Australians, Indians, Chinese, or even Malaysians, indeed all persons who under US culture of meritocracy are competent and can contribute to its profits. To impute or insinuate otherwise is to commit the fallacy of guilt by association that goes something like this: 1. Malaysians (M) cannot associate with Zionists (“Z”) 2. APCO (A) works with some Zionists (“Z”) and therefore 3. APCO (A) may be likened to Zionists (“Z”) and independent from its merits Malaysians (“M”) cannot associate or do business with APCO (“A”) (even if APCO works with many others who are not Zionists and is itself a separate corporate entity from those with whom it works). If this line of argument were used then the same will be true that Malaysia will not then be able to work with the US Congress on the Caucus counting amongst whom are many Jews and supporters of Israel in Zionist sense! The APCO issue is therefore a perfect God-sent issue for them to tell US Congressmen that Anwar whom they and notable US govt official like U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz of Polish Jewish descent used to defend (during his fall from grace in Mahathir’s time) has no qualms now to unscupulously play the anti-semitic card by raising the APCO issue if he deems it expedient for his political objectives.

    This is not going to go down well with US Congressmen many of whom, whether Jews or not, support the Israel’s right to survival and nationhood. Can Anwar afford to lose the patronage or goodwill of some of these US Congressmen and important figures in the government? Is he willing to trade long term good will of these people for short term game of embarrassing the government via APCO’s appointment via of an obvious logical fallacy of association?

    And which Opposition MP is there in the Malaysian delegation to the Malaysia-United States Caucus to speak in defence of Anwar if such allegations are then made against the Opposition head to the Americans? There is none – because of the Minister’s excuse that the Oppopsition want to stay home to preserve their numbers to vote en bloc against government’s bills. How convenient, everything falls into place!

  17. #17 by sheriff singh on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 1:55 am

    Hey, they left out that other Independent MP – Ibrahim Ali.

    Boy, I hear he very frus. Frus, frus, frus.

  18. #18 by boh-liao on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 4:11 am

    A low-class wayang n Nazri didn’t even know how 2 fart a white lie

  19. #19 by johnnypok on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 7:04 am

    This is a classic example of how a HP6 idiot thinks.
    Compare to Singapore, out ministers are more like monkeys and wild dogs.
    God please forgive me for making such comment.
    The logic behind such decision sounds rather stupid. Singapore must be having a great laugh.

  20. #20 by negarawan on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 7:40 am

    The citizens and congress of the US must be made to realize that UMNO, and in particular, the two political turncoats (Zahrain and Zul), are undemocratic and corrupt. They have betrayed the democratic principles that the US and other democratic countries practice and believe in. The citizens and congress of the US must come to know the truth behind these two political turncoats who have betrayed the trust and mandate given to them by their constituents, and how UMNO is undemocratically and corruptly enticing them to be “UMNO friendly” with free overseas trips and financial gains. Let’s hope that at least the US embassy in Malaysia are aware about the actual situation and have informed Obama and the congress about the truth and hidden political agenda behind their trip. Let the US congress and people scrutinize and challenge the integrity and undemocratic practices of Najib and his entourage under the full view of the international community and media.

  21. #21 by chengho on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 7:59 am


    you want to go ?

  22. #22 by dagen on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 8:13 am

    Malaysia – US Caucus? Oh that is something rather unimportant as far as the umno gobermen is concerned. Just another one of those frivolous and fun thingy – like the numerous belajar sambil melawat trips organised by toyol-the-indon. They are meant for the privileged ones only. For them to have a good time. No more than that.

    But really I dont know how seriously the americans are taking it. They better not for otherwise they would feel like little mickeys. Worse than that. They are being made mickeys by a little third world country. How would they take it?

    But then again the fact that we are sending idiots and people with neither principles nor scrupples to attend is a national secret. No one is suppose to know or hear about it. So there. This info may come to you people in hypertexts, it does not mean I cannot declare it a secret still and I so declare and hold you people who have seen this to a pledge of confidentiality. Ingat. Ini semua under OSA ya.

    I cant help myself. I hv to dive into this topic. “Save Gaza” umno screamed. “Malaysia wants Israel dragged to court.” “Malaysia against Israel attacks on Gaza.” “Save the palestinians.” Ini semuanya tipu. Lies. Lies. Bloody lies. Malaysia under umno is Israel’s partner in bed.

  23. #23 by boh-liao on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 9:20 am

    In The Star today, a headline: “Price of pigs goes up”

  24. #24 by DCLXVI on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 9:39 am

    chengho :Kit,
    you want to go ?

    It’s probable that Najib & his pro-Umno-BN entourage are tempted to engage in a subtle ‘Anwar-bashing’ during that Malaysia-US Caucus, but US govt officials & politicians are unlikely to be that naive to believe Najib & Co. hook, line & sinker, especially when they notice the absence of Malaysian opposition MPs.
    Of course, the APCO issue may be brought up, but the US govt may say that is a private sector matter since APCO is a private firm.
    Who knows, for the past six decades, the US State Dept has issued guidelines to US govt officials & politicians, especially those with pro-Israeli sentiments, on how to interact with dignitaries, delegates or representatives from nations which do not recognise and do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, in order to safeguard diplomatic protocol & avoid any diplomatic incident.

  25. #25 by johnnypok on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 9:59 am

    The following persons should have been invited:

    1. Lim Kit siang
    2. Semi Value
    3. Nik Aziz

  26. #26 by limkamput on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 10:24 am

    Jeffrey, please stop talking nonsense, the US will understand. They are not as dumb as you think. So stop talking nonsense here when i am not around to counter you. I am busy earning a living, wait till i get back.

  27. #27 by Thor on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 10:38 am

    Just to convince and impress the US President that everything is okay here.
    They will even further spread more lies about Anwar as well.
    That’s why Najib is tagging those two jokers along, as to back up his claim.
    Hope Mr Obama will really give them a hard kick on their butt!

  28. #28 by Comrade on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 10:40 am

    chengho: Kit,
    you want to go?

    Kit, you want to go?
    Why not, if the govt decided so
    Alas,it is only in their dream
    That this offer is extended to leaders of PR team

  29. #29 by johnnypok on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 10:43 am

    When asked by the President on why no representatives from the Chinese and Indian community are included, to which the PM replied “1-Malaysia” means only one race, no more Malay, Chinese and Indian, just like in America”.

    Obama: “Make sure you dissolve MCA and MIC as soon as you get back to Malaysia, otherwise”

    Back hole PM is wondering why the President only mentioned MCA and MIC, and not the other race-based parties. So he called APCO for advise, to which APCO said “This is a USD 500 million question, not including commission”

  30. #30 by frankyapp on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 12:05 pm

    The american president and the american people are pretty smart and have their home work done before meeting the NR’s one sided delegation. I think president Obama and the caucus’s members would not believe all the cocks and bulls stories from frog Zahrain and Nordddin. I think at the end of day ,NR and frogs would feel pretty much ashamed of themselves.

  31. #31 by Jeffrey on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 1:37 pm

    “….the US will understand. They are not as dumb as you think…” – Lim Kam Put #26
    This is a sweeping remark and not a rational retort backed by logic or facts.

    The fact that a US consultancy corporation like APCO has consultants, shareholders or strategic partners/affiliates of Jewish descent does not by it self make it Jewish or Zionist entity to justify the brouhaha raised by Anwar condemning the Govt’s appointment of it on principally the grounds of Jewish links based on the “guilt/fallacy by association” rationale. The national affiliation or religious persuasion of some people behind any company that provides a service should not in principle be the main factor in any argument to hire or fire the company, a separate entity – what more when that persuasion happens to be related to Jews/Israel/Zionist which the US Congress has sympathy and support for. These are the principles that the US Congressmen will understand. Indeed the US Congress passed in 2004 the US Congress Global Anti-Semitism Act to stop criticism and Israel and its supporters and strong anti-Israel sentiments.

    Of course US Congressmen are not dumb to know that Anwar is taking the stance to play to domestic Muslim audience and to probe the hypocrisy of the government’s hitherto anti Israel stand in solidarity with Islamic Middle East/Arab politics but does this alone, in their eyes, ameliorate and excuse the anti Semitic flavor of his stance? They will not like it. They will determine it opportunistic such treatment of the Jews (with whom they are in solidarity) as some sort of a bogeyman even for limited purpose of domestic politics especially by someone not short of Jewish friends (eg Paul Wolfowitz, a Jew with strong links to Jewish lobby groups, Lalit, a colleague of Anwar’s in a pro-Israel think-thank, Brookings Institute, and other friends in International Crisis Group with whom Anwar is associated). And beyond the Congress, within the inner sanctum of the White House there are influential Jews including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

    The Jewish lobby is very strong within the US Administration: they were not happy at all with Tun Dr Mahathir’s well known anti Semitic flavor. The US administration took a position against him in the spat with Anwar and supported Reformasi (Al Gore’s & Madelene Albright’s remarks in 1998 APEC summit in KL has reference), and since then supported Anwar until present day. And now Anwar wants to talk like TDM???? When this APCO issue is blown up internationally I believe he is putting US’s up till now favourable opinion of him on the line. The Opposite Side would definitely leverage maximum on this issue in the Malaysia-United States Caucus when conferring with US’s congressmen.

    Saying “….the US will understand. They are not as dumb as you think…” is, at best, an expression of wish. It is not an argument at all, let alone a reasonable one. It does not demonstrate how or why the US will understand : but this is the ordinary way a person like Lim Kam Put will respond that proves nothing but only his own wish (that it won’t happen) whilst at same time trying to ridicule an opposing position that he wishes to oppose and ridicule just for the sake of it, appealing to popular sentiments but no rational or factual basis.

  32. #32 by limkamput on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 3:02 pm

    The incumbent government surely would enjoy some privileges and preference when dealing with a foreign government. But given the track records, I believe many US Congressmen are aware of the plight of opposition in Malaysia and also in many other countries where the societies are less than free. We shall see whether some hard questions will be asked when our PM meets the US officials and Congressmen even though none of the Opposition MPs are present (care to wager with me?). Far from wishful thinking, it was based on my verifiable observations of past behaviour. If our PM were to visit China or Myanmar, may be I would agree that the cause of the opposition may be sacrified. Your proposition has no basis. It was based on your own intuition and impaired logic. You are trying to be “smart” when you are actually an ass.

  33. #33 by limkamput on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 3:11 pm

    Again you are dumb, are you saying US Congressmen can’t differentiate Mahathir from Anwar? The idea that the Jewish lobbies are very strong in the US is a myth and old wives’ tales. Whether they are strong or not would depend whether the interests coincide with US’ interest. Comparing APCO and Malaysia, the US would prefer Malaysia anytime. Sorry, Jeffrey, you have to try harder to be able to think like me.

  34. #34 by Jeffrey on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 4:37 pm

    “Your proposition has no basis. It was based on your own intuition and impaired logic. You are trying to be “smart” when you are actually an ass.Again you are dumb, are you saying US Congressmen can’t differentiate Mahathir from Anwar? – postings 32 & 33 by Lim Kam Put.

    Well if this is the best you can do, Lim Kam Put, I’ll waste no time giving a reasoned response. It does require any.

    You have to remember what is lacking in substance and chain of reasoning in reply – and thoughts – cannot be made up or camouflaged by spewing emotional, abusive and vile language. Educated and sensible people can easily see through that.

    Nor is it necessary for me to reciprocate and descend to respond at your level of abusive language.

    Your final comment – “Jeffrey, you have to try harder to be able to think like me….” is a clear expression by you of a deep seated inferiority complex. I am in agreement that it is fully justified.

  35. #35 by Jeffrey on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 4:39 pm

    Typo omission rectified in capital – “It does NOT require any.”

  36. #36 by limkamput on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 4:56 pm

    Jeffrey, you are the one who constantly resort to all kinds of innuendoes and when challenged would say I have nothing to respond. The reality is you can’t match me, as simple as that. You think you can come here to talk all the c*ck and get away with it. Not so simple, so long as I am still around.

  37. #37 by Jeffrey on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 5:48 pm

    ///The reality is you can’t match me, as simple as that./// – Lim Kam Put

    Thats true for now, but I am sure I can, in due course, reach to match you at your level when I am enfeebled, mentally impaired, decrepid or broken down by old age, illness or both. Be patient.

  38. #38 by steven chan on Friday, 9 April 2010 - 7:55 pm

    who is the moderator of this blog?
    on what basis the moderator allows comments. Instead of intelligent discourse here we have some individuals having a boxing match worst than our monkey parliament!

  39. #39 by johnnypok on Saturday, 10 April 2010 - 5:44 am

    God must be crazy to allow BN/UMNO to continue plundering the economy.
    Or, God must have got fedup with them and left them to rot their way to hell.
    They think meeting the President is like meeting God to get approval for commiting more sins. If you are born stupid, no amount of artificial make-up can help you. Bodoh.

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