Monday, June 23, 2008

Barisan MPs on alert to fight possible no-confidence motion - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Jun 23, 2008

All eyes will be on the new meeting of the Dewan Rakyat which starts today as many are waiting to see if a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister materialises.

Although the Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s office has said that no specific no-confidence motion has been filed, any motion or Bill which comes up for voting can be turned into a test of confidence of the Prime Minister and the Government.

The first motion to come up will be that on price increases of oil and other goods as well as the measures to tackle them, which will be tabled by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad immediately after Question Time today.

SAPP, a Barisan Nasional component party, caused a storm last week when the party said it had lost confidence in the leadership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister.

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said its two MPs (Tawau's Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui and Sepanggar's Datuk Eric Enjin Machimbun) would introduce or support a vote on no-confidence against the Prime Minister.

Barisan secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said coalition MPs would be on full alert for the possibility of the Opposition trying to sneak in a no-confidence vote during the debate on issues such as the motion on price increases.

Tengku Adnan said coalition MPs would not let their guard down.

“We know what they are trying to do. We must fight back. We have alerted all our MPs, so of course a vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister will not go through,” he said yesterday.

He pointed out that Barisan had the numbers on their side – 140 MPs against the Opposition's 82.

“We have asked our component parties to make sure that all their MPs attend the sitting and follow the orders of the Whip,” he said.

Tengku Adnan also said that Barisan would be calling for a management committee meeting “in a day or two” to discuss the unusual position of the SAPP.

“How can you be in a family and not want the father? There is only one father (Abdullah) in the (Barisan) family,” he said.

Tengku Adnan said Yong was being manipulative and “playing a game” with Barisan.

“He doesn’t want SAPP to quit Barisan but he doesn’t want its leader. He wants us to sack SAPP. Then he can say that they joined Pakatan Rakyat only because they were sacked from Barisan.

“We can’t fall into that trap,” he said.

Tengku Adnan said Barisan would be looking at the possibility of suspending SAPP or issuing a show-cause letter to Yong to explain what he meant by choosing to stay in Barisan and not support the Prime Minister.

As Umno secretary-general, he said, he was upset and disappointed with Yong for “questioning the position of our president as the Prime Minister”.

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