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Wednesday March 17, 2010

Independents emerge as third force

THE independent MPs may be a minority, but their presence is felt at the Dewan Rakyat, as the third force.

Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri (Independent – Bagan Serai) was picked by the Chair to ask a supplementary question during a question and answer session yesterday, the first day the Dewan Rakyat convened its sitting.

Alhamdullilah,” said Mohsin after the session, saying he hardly had the chance to ask questions previously while representing PKR.

“I can say that since becoming MP, I have only been given the chance to ask questions not more than five times,” he said.

The presence of the five independent MPs was also recognised as the “third force” by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz who agreed to their request for a room for themselves.

The request was made by Zulkfli Noordin (Ind – Bandar Kulim Baru).

A room will be allocated for the five MPs – Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Pasir Mas), Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim (Bayan Baru), Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal), Zulkifli and Mohsin.

Backbenchers have their own room and so do MPs from the various parties in the opposition.

It was learnt that a room had been identified which would be shared by the five MPs.

Asked about the request by some independent MPs to be involved in Parliamentary caucuses, Nazri said he welcomed them as they would make a difference.

“I welcome them as a third force. They are independent, so they can criticise the Government, or they can support the Government. Similarly, they can criticise the Opposition, or support them.”

Meanwhile, two MPs from the Sabah Progressive Party – Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (SAPP – Tawau) and Eric E. Majimbun (SAPP – Sepanggar), who are seated in Block I together with the independent MPs, maintained that they are not independents.

“We are from SAPP representing Sabah’s interests,” said Dr Chua.

Unlike the independent MPs who do not belong to any party, Dr Chua and Eric are from SAPP.

SAPP pulled out from the Barisan Nasional coalition to become an independent party.

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