Trip to Cairo called off due to lack of quorum


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 23 Jan 2005

BY LOONG MENG YEE

KLANG: The Selangor Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) eight-day controversial study trip to Cairo has been cancelled due to “a lack of quorum.” 

PAC member Datuk Ahmad Bhari Abdul Rahman said the main decision to call off the trip, which was supposed to have started yesterday, “is solely because of the reduction in numbers. There was nothing wrong with the itinerary”.  

He said the final decision to cancel the trip was made so late because the members had hoped that the fourth member of the trip, DAP representative Ng Suee Lim, might join them at the last minute. 

“As he stayed firm on his decision not to go, we decided the trip was not justified,” Ahmad Bhari said when contacted. 

Over the past week, Ng had expressed concern over the trip, claiming that its itinerary were packed with leisure activities that made the trip looked more like a holiday getaway than an educational tour. 

Pointing out that there were only two official functions in the tour, he also expressed displeasure that one of the activities listed was a belly dancing performance while cruising down the River Nile. 

Ng had said such activities could not be justified as a study tour given that PAC scrutinised how other state departments spent their money. 

Ahmad Bhari said it would not be proper to go on the trip when only three out of seven PAC members were going. 

When the trip was first proposed, three PAC members had declined participation due to prior commitments, leaving four members free to go –Bakthiar Hussein, Datuk Lee Hwa Beng, Ng and Ahmad Bhari. 

Selangor senior state executive councillor Datuk Tang See Hang, when contacted after Ng expressed his concerns, had said the itinerary that the latter had complained about was “just a rough draft”. 

The itinerary, later revised, excluded the belly dancing and River Nile cruise. Instead, it added more “educational” activities. 

Ahmad said he considered Ng’s decision as a last minute withdrawal, that resulted in the participating group members dwindling to three. 

Lee, whoannounced the cancellation at a press conference yesterday, agreed with Ahmad that there was nothing wrong with the itinerary.  

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