KUALA LUMPUR: Sept 12, 2008
PKR, following close on the heels of the Barisan Nasional backbenchers, will send four of its leaders to Taiwan Friday.
Information chief Tian Chua (Batu MP), strategic director Saifuddin Nasution (Machang MP), election bureau deputy head Fuziah Salleh (Kuantan MP) and supreme council member Low Chee Cheong will be on the 2pm flight.
“We will be staying at the same hotel as the Barisan backbenchers. So we’d probably be having breakfast and going for karaoke together with them,” quipped Tian.
He said the decision for the team to go to Taiwan was made Thursday morning at PKR’s political bureau meeting chaired by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He joked that since the Barisan MPs had gone to Taiwan for an agriculture study tour, “we too want to see how agricultural progress can be made.”
“We don’t want to be left behind in agriculture when we take over the government. We too want to learn some of the tricks of the trade,” he said . On Monday, a group of 41 Barisan MPs left for Taiwan on an agriculture study tour, largely seen as an attempt to avert a crossover to the Opposition.
On a more serious note, Tian claimed the presence of the Barisan MPs in Taiwan had created anxiety and misconception among the Taiwanese.
“It has created publicity that the MPs are there to avoid a regime change back home and the Taiwanese society do not want to be part of that process. They do not want to be part of any corruption or transactions to stop a democratic transformation of Malaysia,” he said.
Tian said “anxious” Taiwan Civil Society, NGOs and political activists had invited PKR over because they did not want to be seen as being one-sided in supporting Barisan.
“They are keen to get a briefing from us,” he said.
Tian said PKR would also meet high-profile Taiwanese ruling party and opposition leaders and the Taiwanese media during their visit there.
He said Taiwan and Malaysia shared a similar background and the former, after 50 years of dictatorship, had managed to transform its politics into a vibrant two-party system.
“That is something we should learn from them,” he said.
Tian said the PKR team would be in Taiwan for about two days, adding that it would be back before Sept 16, the date Anwar had set to take over the Government.
To a question, Tian admitted that some of the Barisan MPs who were in Taiwan were those who were supposed to join PR.
“Some are in that delegation but our door is wide open,” he said.
Barisan has 140 MPs while PR has a total of 82 from PKR, DAP and PAS combined. PR needs 30 crossovers to topple the Federal Government.
Tian said Sept 16 has already been achieved as PR has got that number to effect a change of government.
What was left now, he said, was for them to sort out how to make the transition – whether through a vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister when Parliament reconvenes, through a petition to the King or by physically going to the Istana.
“We also need to be cautious over the possible risk of a crackdown and instability,” he said.
Drawing an analogy to a PR takeover, Tian said: “We have registered the marriage. It is only a question now of when to have the big banquet. That would depend on the hotel bookings and the invitations."