Sunday, September 7, 2008


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 - Top government leaders yesterday defended an overseas trip planned for Barisan Nasional MPs over the next two weeks, dismissing speculation that it was to prevent their defection to the opposition.

“Why connect their trip to the Sept 16 issue? They are not the ones planning to jump and leave the BN,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“We will not give them the opportunity to set up government on Sept 16,” Abdullah said.

The Deputy Premier, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, confirmed that he had approved the trip from Sept 7 to 19 organised by the BN Backbenchers Club for its 75 members.

Sept 16 is the date on which opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that he would topple the BN government with help of at least 30 BN defectors.

Despite their denials, the coincidental timing swiftly cemented the impression of a panicky BN, as rumours spread wildly yesterday that the first wave of crossovers was imminent.


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