Saturday April 19, 2008- The star
IS this how an MP should behave?” questioned Deputy FT minister Datuk M. Saravanan in relation to the two-day round-table forum organised by the Federal Territories Ministry at Hotel Istana.
He was commenting on the attitude of some MPs at the conference, “in particularly Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng”.
He said the FT Ministry was worried by the pressure and threat from some MPs, citing that the authority was forced to take action against the foreign workers at Chinatwon in a few days following Wee's accusations of Kuala Lumpur City Hall's (DBKL) incompetence.
“City Hall has already told Wee that they were discussing with the hawkers and petty traders' association in Chinatown to find out better ways to deal with the problem, but he said that was a stupid answer and distributed a statement with the remark to everyone at the retreat on the first day,” he told a press conference.
“We have to deal with the issue sensitively because Chinatown is a tourist destination known to the world, and we want to allow the operators there to adjust themselves. We cannot just carry out harsh enforcement.
“However, with the pressure and threat from this MP, we have no choice but to take action against the foreign workers,” he said.
“Your representative asked us to take action,” he stressed.
On Lim, Saravanan said he asked for reserved parking from the hotel for MPs. “Now as an MP in the opposition you want free parking, if you are in the ruling party, would you ask to own the hotel?”
He criticised that some MPs did not make good use of the chance, and that veterans Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun could have done better.
However, he commended Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Batu MP Tian Chua and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar for their professionalism.
Asked if ties between the ministry and the MPs were ruined, he said: “Some, not all. I must be fair, there are MPs who can think.”
He said KL MPs should know the operating mechanism in the Federal Territories, that the authority could not take immediate actions in some cases and “just bring the weapon there and shoot”, as they needed to discuss with relevant ministries and consider many aspects.
Saravanan also said that the need for these kind of forums again would be reassessed. However, he added that the ministry still valued constructive suggestions.
“If you think you respect us, we will listen; but if you think you don't respect us, sorry, we have no time for you,” he said.
He assured that the participants would see results to the matters raised, but they have to give them time.
“We look at the urgency level. Some matters, for instance, the suggestion of a three-day feedback timeframe is being implemented but we can't curb rising crime rate in one or two days,” he said.
Meanwhile Federal Territory Barisan leaders hit out at some of the opposition MPs in Kuala Lumpur for their improper behaviour at the forum.
FT Umno information chief Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman said the MPs regardless from which party they belong should have used the roundtable meeting to debate proper proposals.
“Even if you want to criticise it should not be done in an aggressive manner. This is only their arrogance.
“If this is the way they are going to conduct themselves then I propose that the FT Ministry do not hold such meetings in the future as it is simply waste of time. The action by the irresponsible MPs would only make the people suffer,” said Suhaili.
FT PPP also hit out the opposition MPs saying they should not “play politics” but should instead show willingness to work and resolve the problems faced by city folks.
Its chairman A. Chandrakumanan said the behaviour of the some KL opposition MPs reflected their true character.
“Among themselves there seems to be no cohesion. For example Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong placed banners thanking the voters in his constituency with only the PKR and PAS logos while the DAP logo was missing. Where is the spirit of Pakatan Rakyat that they are talking about?” said Chandrakumanan.