KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Sept 2008: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today he approved an overseas study trip by the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) because it is constructive.
The trip, initiated by the BNBBC to take place during the one-month Ramadan (September) break in the Dewan Rakyat sitting, was a good opportunity to expose the BN backbenchers to new technology, he told reporters after launching the "Rakan Cop" National Service Programme here.
Najib was asked to comment on a newspaper report today that the BNBBC had organised a study trip abroad from 7 – 19 Sept to enable BN members of parliament (MPs) to learn of the latest technology in agriculture and high-tech food production.
Asked whether the trip was organised to prevent BN MPs from crossing over to Pakatan Rakyat – something Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been claiming they would do – Najib said: "We will see when it comes to 16 Sept".
Anwar, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor, has been saying that he would overthrow the BN government through mass defections by 16 Sept.
The BN has 140 MPs in Parliament, of whom 65 are ministers and deputy ministers, while the opposition has 82 MPs, one of whom is an independent.
Meanwhile, on the Rakan Cop National Service Programme, Najib said that at least 100,000 ex-trainees of the National Service Training Programme would join Rakan Cop every year.
He said it would be easier for them to serve in the Rakan Cop programme as they had the advantage of having undergone training, having been inculcated with the spirit of patriotism and having a high level of discipline.
"I believe they can supplement our efforts to eradicate crime by conveying information to the police," he said. Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar, who was present at the event, said information conveyed through Rakan Cop had enabled the police to respond speedily in their fight against crime. – Bernama