Monday, January 10, 2011
Making MPs "more efficient"
￼KUALA LUMPUR (2010, Jan 09) : Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's recent meeting with Barisan Nasional members of parliaments (MP) is part of the ongoing process of political transformation for the country, which includes remaking the alliance into a "People First" party.
The meeting on Saturday with 105 out of the 112 BN MPs at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) saw deputy ministers and Backbenchers having a brief one-on-one session with Najib, starting at 9.30am. (Ministers did not attend the meeting as they will have a separate session with Najib.)
Also present at the meeting was BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
This is the first time such a meeting has been initiated, and is part of an ongoing effort of transformation which Najib had announced at the Umno General Assembly and Barisan Nasional convention last year.
At a press conference later, Najib explained that the meeting was part of the government's long-term process of political transformation to make the MPs more "efficient and effective" in serving the people.
The premier, who is also the BN chairman, brushed off claims that the meeting was part of the preparations geared towards the general election, which political pundits believe will be held this year.
"No, I think you don't understand. (This is) a long term process towards political transformation to make each and every BN representative more effective to serve the people. The general election is part of the process but it is part of a long term political transformation," said Najib.
He explained that the meeting was to listen to the problems faced by the MPs in their constituencies and help them serve the people better.
"They (MPs) need the support from the federal and state government so they can bring the problems of the people to the attention of the leaders and the government, so we can help solve the problems.
"This will help them be more effective and efficient MPs in the hearts of the people," said Najib.
He added that the meeting was also useful for him to get the right perspective on the position of the constituencies held by BN MPs.
Najib, who is also Pekan MP, said he was satisfied with the feedback received but added there was still room for improvement.
Asked if the meeting was part of a key performance indicator of MPs, Najib said: "I did not set specifically in terms of KPI but we have our ways and methods to measure the performance of every MP and this is made as basis for us to consider (their effectiveness) when the time comes."
The meeting on Saturday kicked off with a batch of MPs from Sarawak followed by MPs from Sabah, Johor, Malacca and other states.
The MPs were required to submit a report on their constituencies. Najib met the MPs in groups of three, with each MP given five minutes to have their say.
Several MPs, when met by reporters, said they were happy and described the meeting as a good initiative. However, most agreed that briefing was geared towards the general elections.
Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the meeting was a fact-finding one.
"What the PM is doing is a structured way of finding facts and gathering information to make sure our information tallies with his. He also sought our opinions. Maybe he will call for a snap general election, I am not sure.
"In Pulai, we are ready and I am confident we can win with a bigger majority," said Nur Jazlan.
Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is currently the Kepala Batas MP said the meeting was focused, intensive and a good effort.
His son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin, who is the Rembau MP and Umno Youth chief, said the prime minister had information on the progress and problems in each constituency.
"Basically he wants feedback from us on which should be given priority," said Khairy, adding that the meeting was direct to the point.
Asked if his decision not to contest in the next general election was discussed, Khairy said no.
Recently, he confirmed that he would not defend his seat in the next general election, having earlier tweeted that he would "take a break from politics."
Keningau MP and Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the meeting was fruitful and aimed at developing the respective parliamentary constituencies and preparations for the next general elections.
"He urged MPs to go to the ground and meet the people to know their problems and needs," said Kitingan.
Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, when approached, however said there was no signs of a general election being called soon.
"I think we still need more time to fulfil the promises made in the 12th general elections," said Mukhriz.
First term Hulu Selangor MP P. Kamalanathan said the discussion was pertaining to the progress and the plans developed and implemented in his constituency.
"The PM was very happy with the development and progress," said Kamalanathan. He however said there were no discussions about the general elections.
"We are working very hard. I'm with the people and we will continue to do our best and deliver whatever we do is for the betterment of the community," he said.
Updated: 08:26PM Sun, 09 Jan 2011
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