Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mohd Said Will Have To Appear Before Special Meeting - PM - Bernama

JOHOR BAHARU, May 11 (Bernama) -- Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof will have to appear before a special meeting to be attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Barisan Nasional Chief Whip.

Abdullah said he and Najib had agreed that Mohd Said be given the opportunity to "tell his side of the story" at the yet-to-be confirmed meeting.

"The meeting will hear directly from the Honourable MP (Mohd Said) himself on several matters. He will also be queried on some matters," he told a media conference after attending a musical teater entitled "Balada Sang Adi Putera" held in conjunction with the 60th Umno anniversary celebrations at the Johor Baharu Indoor Stadium here Thursday.

Abdullah said besides him and Najib, the meeting would also be attended by BN assistant whips.

Mohd Said is alleged to have asked the Melaka Customs Department to "close one eye" over an illegal import of sawn timber from Indonesia.

The consignment was seized because it had exceeded the limit allowed by the Malaysian Timber Council.

Mohd Said had earlier reiterated that he was merely discharging his duty as an MP to help a Bumiputera company. He had also denied that he had any interests in the firm.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Jasin MP Says Sorry To PM - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 (Bernama) -- Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof, the man who allegedly asked Melaka Customs to "close one eye" in a case involving the illegal import of sawn timber from Indonesia, said Wednesday that he had apologised to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said he met the premier after a special briefing for Umno divisional leaders at Putra World Trade Centre, here Tuesday.

"I met him, clasped his hand and informed him that I apologise if I had done wrong," he told a news conference at Parliament lobby.

He, however, declined to reveal the reaction of Abdullah, who is also the Umno president.

The controversy was sparked off by a newspaper report that a MP attempted to interfere with the work of the Melaka Customs which seized a consignment of sawn timber that exceeded the 60-square-inch cross-section area limit permitted by the Malaysian Timber Council.

Mohd Said subsequently said he was the MP mentioned in the report.

The issue resulted in the resignation of Johor Baharu MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad after he supported an abortive opposition motion in the Dewan Rakyat that sought to refer the news report to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee.

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Monday, May 8, 2006

BN MPs Cannot Vote According To Their Conscience, Says Abdullah - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stressed Monday that Barisan Nasional (BN) members of Parliament must toe the party line and are not free to vote according to their conscience in any motion moved in Parliament.

The prime minister said that every party member, including BN MPs, has to observe the discipline and must understand this.

"All party members have rules that they must understand and follow. There's discipline for each member... no relaxation or freedom is given for them to do as they like. That's the party rule," he told reporters here.

He was asked to comment on a statement by the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) Monday asking that BN MPs be given the freedom to vote according to their conscience on motions moved in Parliament.

The BNBBC, however, acknowledged the practice in the House of Commons in Britain where the party whip could compel the MPs to vote according to the party's decision in important issues like finance bills, vote of no confidence and second reading of important bills.

Earlier, Abdullah, who is also Umno president, chaired a four-hour Umno supreme council meeting at Menara Datuk Onn here.

Asked why the BN did not adopt the approach of some developed countries which give their party members freedom to decide on any motion tabled, he said the democracy practised by the BN had proven successful until now.

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Sunday, May 7, 2006

BN Principle Not To Support Opposition Motions Stays, Says Abdullah - Bernama

SEPANG, May 7 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional's (BN) principle not to support opposition motions in Parliament stays and should be followed, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Sunday.

"That is a party (BN) decision and right now we will keep to the decision. The principle of supporting the party's stand is a principle that must be followed," the prime minister said.

Abdullah, who is also the BN chairman, told reporters this at the KL International Airport (KLIA) upon his return from a 10-day trip to the Caribbean and the United States.

He also welcomed a suggestion to set up a select committee on guidelines on what MPs can and cannot do.

Abdullah was commenting on Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad's resignation as chairman of the Backbenchers Club (BBC) after the majority of the BN MPs refused to support his stand on an opposition motion to refer an MP to the Rights and Privileges Committee for interfering in the affairs of the customs department.

The motion was tabled by opposition leader Lim Kit Siang after a New Straits report, quoting sources, claimed that the MP had asked customs to "close an eye" to settle a case involving the seizure of sawn timber in Sungai Linggi, Melaka, recently.

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Friday, May 5, 2006

Najib Accepts Shahrir's Resignation As BNBBC Chairman - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, May 5 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Friday accepted the resignation of Johor Baharu MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad as chairman of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC).

Shahrir said this to reporters after a 20-minute meeting with Najib, who is the BN Chief Whip in Parliament, at the latter's office.

He said Najib also accepted the reasons he gave for his resignation which took his colleagues in the Dewan Rakyat by surprise.

Shahrir announced his decision to quit yesterday immediately after failing to get BN MPs to support a motion in the Dewan Rakyat.

The motion was tabled by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang of the DAP seeking to refer a news report published by the New Straits Times which implicated an unnamed MP to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee.

Shahrir supported the motion but most of the BN MPs voted to reject it.

Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof has since come out to say he is the MP referred to in the news report, which claimed an MP asked the Melaka Customs to "close an eye" over a timber consignment that was seized.

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