The elected representatives want to know what are the mechanisms and strategies they can use to restore the people's faith in BN.
By : Azura Abas, NEW SUNDAY TIMES
Datuk Liow Tiong Lai (left) says restoring people’s faith in BN is a priority; while Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek suggests the meeting will psych up the reps
KUALA LUMPUR: The healing and soul-searching continues for Barisan Nasional, five weeks after its worst setback in the elections.
|Datuk Tan Lian Hoe says directives are likely to be issued|
|Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam thinks the meeting will focus on BN unity|
BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is to address the gathering at the Putra World Trade Centre here, his first meeting with the group since the March 8 election which saw the ruling coalition lose its two-thirds majority in Dewan Rakyat and control of five states.
Abdullah and key members of Umno and BN have held a series of meetings at executive committee and supreme council levels but this would be the first time the prime minister is coming face to face with the elected representatives.
High on the wish list of the nearly 500 members of parliament and state assemblymen who are expected to turn up includes clear direction and strategies to regain the people's trust.
MCA Youth chief and Bentong MP Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the need to strengthen the coalition would be one of the major issues raised at the meeting.
"The elected representatives want to know what are the mechanisms and strategies they can use to restore the people's faith in BN.
"Promising development and serving the rakyat is one thing. The people also want to experience the changes that BN will undertake.
"They want their voices heard. They want leaders who can solve problems at the grassroots levels."
Liow, who is also the health minister, said the meeting could also be used as a platform to brief the new MPs on how to be good parliamentarians.
"Probably those in Pakatan Rakyat states will be briefed on how they can play their roles to ensure a BN comeback in four years."
The states out of BN control are Selangor, Perak, Penang, Kedah and Kelantan.
Umno's Kemaman MP Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the meeting was likely to psych up the BN representatives and give more directions to them on how to secure the people's mandate.
"The gathering will get everybody closer."
Gerakan Wanita chief and Gerik MP Datuk Tan Lian Hoe said the meeting with the BN chairman could see directives and guidelines being given to the elected representatives.
"It is also important to identify strategies and ideas that will capture the people's hearts and restore their trust in the coalition."
MIC secretary-general and Segamat MP Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said he believed Abdullah would stress on maintaining unity among BN elected representatives.
"It is likely a meeting to inform us on how to conduct ourselves accordingly in parliament, especially for the first-time MPs."