Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dr Mahathir’s ANSWERS – Detailed Explanation in BOOKLET; PM Abdullah's leadership UNDIVIDED SUPPORT from 78 UMNO MPs & Senators

Some of the UMNO members and Senators attending the meeting at Putra Jaya

1. Removal of Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff as CEO of Proton,
2. The giving of Approved Permits to TWO individuals
3. The sale of MV Agusta for only one euro,
4. The cancellation of the half-bridge (scenic) in Johor

will be answered in a booklet to be released soon. The cabinet will decide the final details and include the Why’s of decisions taken. But will the Tun accept those “truths”?

What about publishing an ebook on the internet. It would be more effective to spread the Government's message.

The folowing is an account given by the Sun and available at:

Govt to answer all Dr M's questions. Manirajan Updated: 08:44PM Mon, 12 Jun 2006
PUTRAJAYA: The government will give a detailed explanation in the form a booklet in response to the questions and concerns raised by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The decision was made during a two-hour closed door meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and 78 Umno Members of Parliament (MPs) at the Internal Security Ministry Monday.

According to some of the MPs who attended the meeting, the cabinet at its weekly meeting tomorrow will discuss the detailed explanation that will be given to Mahathir's questions.

Barisan Backbenchers club (BBC) secretary Datuk Rosli Mat Hassan said the meeting with Abdullah was arranged by the club to express its support for him as the prime minister and president of Umno.

"To administer a country, there is only one general, one prime minister and one party president.

"The ongoing issue should be stopped and instead, concentration should be given to how to serve the people better," he said.

Rosli said Abdullah explained during the meeting his vision for the country and what was outlined for the people under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. He said a detailed explanation will be given by the government to Mahathir and certain quarters in the form of a booklet, which would include why the prime minister took certain decisions.

On whether Abdullah addressed talk that there were people influencing his decisions, Rosli said the prime minister did acknowledge that such talk had been circulating but assured the MPs that all the government's decisions were made collectively during the weekly cabinet meetings and were not solely his decisions.

Last week, Mahathir launched a scathing criticism of Abdullah and the latter's decision to roll back some of the former premier's policies.

Mahathir, who resigned in 2003 after two decades in power, said he was disappointed that he did not receive any explanation from the government on the rationale behind the removal of Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff as chief executive officer of Proton, the sale of MV Agusta for only one euro, the issuance of Approved Permits to only a few individuals and the scrapping of the half-bridge project in Johor.

Former BBC chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad described the meeting with Abdullah as "very positive".

He said a decision was made for the government to be transparent and to provide an explanation to the questions raised by Mahathir.
"The question is whether Tun Dr Mahathir is going to be satisfied with the explanations or is he going to say that the government is rambling.

"He questioned the credibility of the government, therefore it is important for the government to reply," he said.
However, Shahrir added: "I think Mahathir is irrelevant and he should be happy that the government is still maintaining his Vision 2020."

It is learned that Umno MPs will also be tasked to go down to the grassroots level and explain what is really happening to the people.

Meanwhile Bernama has the following dispatch for the show of support

Abdullah Receives Support From 78 Umno MPs And Senators June 12, 2006 21:45 PM

PUTRAJAYA, June 12 (Bernama) -- A group of 78 senators and members of parliament from Umno had a closed-door meeting with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Monday to express their support for the prime minister's leadership.

Among those who attended the hour-long meeting which started at about 4.35pm at the Internal Security Ministry were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Sri Gading MP Mohamad Aziz, who was met after the meeting, said the MPs and senators expressed their support and confidence in Abdullah as prime minister and Umno president.

He said the meeting was not a forum for dialogue with the prime minister but was more of an expression of their undivided support for Abdullah's leadership.

The meeting was held following former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's vocal criticism of Abdullah's leadership on June 7.

Mohamad said the meeting gave the MPs and senators a chance to hear from Abdullah the truth about the relevant issues.

They were told by Abdullah that the government would also explain the matter to the people periodically, he said.

Larut MP Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar, who is also deputy chairman of the Barisan Backbenchers Club (BNBBC), said the meeting was for the MPs to express their support and stance to stand solidly behind the prime minister in the discharging of his duties in leading the nation, especially in achieving the objectives of the policies and programmes under the Ninth
Malaysia Plan (9MP).

"It is very important for us to express our feelings openly. We told the prime minister not to worry, that we are always with him because what's important is the country's political stability," he said.

Raja Ahmad Zainuddin said the MPs did not doubt Abdullah's leadership style and did not compare him with Dr Mahathir because each had his own way of doing things.

Senators Club president Datuk Abdul Rahman Suliman said the senators also expressed their undivided support for all the actions taken by the government to ensure that all programmes under the 9MP ran smoothly.

The support was necessary in view that several matters or issues that arose and the current challenges were seen as slightly undermining the credibility of Abdullah's leadership in implementing the 9MP programmes, he said.

Johor Baharu MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said the MPs and senators left it to the prime minister to implement the process of explaining to the people regarding the criticisms.

He said Abdullah agreed that the most effective way to dispel the people's concern about the criticisms and questions raised by Dr Mahathir was for the government to give a detailed explanation on the issues.

"We leave it to him (Abdullah) because I think it is only natural for him (to respond), with so many issues that were raised by Dr Mahathir the government should be responding.

"But I think it would take some time for all the questions to be answered," he said.

Dungun MP Datuk Rosli Mat Hasaan said the MPs and senators felt that only Abdullah was qualified now to be the country's "captain" and Umno's leader.

They were also willing to explain the issues to the party members in their respective constituencies, he added.

He said the information programmes were more in the form of answers to Dr Mahathir's allegations which would be compiled in a book.

Read following from: The Business Times, S'PORE
MALAYSIA INSIGHT Physician, heel thyself
Dr M may be unhappy but KL shouldn't be distracted by him

MAHATHIR Mohamad hasn't been happy for a long time. In a meeting more than eight months ago with senior journalists - including this writer - the former Malaysian premier expressed some frustration with current government policy. Indeed, he seemed to think that there was a 'concerted attempt' to tarnish his legacy by certain quarters. At that time, he didn't really elaborate.

If at one stage, Dr Mahathir tried to exercise restraint by not attacking the leadership directly, he has now thrown caution to the wind. His tirade against his handpicked successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, last Wednesday was blistering to say the least. How else would one describe a diatribe that included words like 'betrayed' or 'backstabbed'?

Dr Mahathir later clarified that he wasn't being personal. That's a bit of a stretch as he implied that Mr Abdullah was not only the wrong choice, but the second choice behind current deputy premier Najib Razak. If that's not an attempt to divide and rule, we don't know what is?

The ex-premier said that he 'does not have the power to remove him (Mr Abdullah)' but 'it was for the party (the United Malays National Organisation, or Umno) to remove him'. Those are fighting words, suggestive words, even inflammatory words from a man who has been there, done that, and got the T-shirt where political challenges are concerned.

Robert Kennedy once said that 'one-quarter of the people will be against you no matter what you say'. The danger for Mr Abdullah is that, in Umno, it could be more than a quarter, all waiting to coalesce around someone willing to pick up the gauntlet flung down by Dr Mahathir.

Let's be specific. It's unlikely that Mr Abdullah will now get the thumping mandate he received in the 2004 general election. Yes, the press is freer and Mr Abdullah's style is less autocratic, more consensual. But prices have gone up across the board, contracts have been cancelled, businessmen are hurting and the economy does not seem as freewheeling as it was once.

As former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah put it recently: 'Things do not seem to be moving.' Dr Mahathir is probably aware of all this. About a month ago, he said that fuel prices need not have gone up if the government had moved to strengthen the ringgit. By attacking Mr Abdullah on a whole host of other issues, he is compounding the government's problem -
the same government that he'd left to his successor.

Ultimately, what is Dr Mahathir peeved about? He is angry because he hasn't got satisfactory answers to questions that he raised. The business of the government is to govern, not to become distracted every time Dr Mahathir wants better answers than those already given to him.

He is dissatisfied that some of the policies and programmes that he began have either been postponed or cancelled altogether. It's tough but that's life: it's the prerogative of the leader of the day - Mr Abdullah - not the good doctor.

Just like Dr Mahathir has a right to air his opinions, Mr Abdullah has every right to change his mind. But Mr Abdullah is in good company because Dr Mahathir may know exactly what he is going through. Two previous premiers - Tunku Abdul Rahman and Hussein Onn - were opposed to Dr Mahathir for various reasons. So if there is a moral to this episode, it can only be this -history has a nasty habit of repeating itself.

and also from the SUN
The courage to effect policy change
Tan Siok Choo Updated:
03:23PM Mon, 12 Jun 2006

Malaysia should consider itself lucky. Realising the truth of John F. Kennedy's dictum, every top political leader since Merdeka has undertaken changes that reshaped dramatically the contours of this country, even if this required abandoning policies his predecessor had initiated and even if he ran the risk of displeasing him.

Take the country's second prime minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak. In contrast to the ebullient Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, as a deputy prime minister, Razak was quiet and self-effacing. But when Razak assumed the mantle of leadership in 1970, he launched several policy initiatives that were bold, unconventional and far-reaching in impact.

He persuaded several opposition parties to join a new coalition party, the Barisan Nasional. Through this manoeuvre, he ushered in an unprecedented era of political unity, particularly among the Malays.

Soon after the May 1969 riots, the Tunku sacked Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad from Umno. On March 7, 1972, less than two years after Razak became party president, he risked the Tunku's displeasure by readmitting Mahathir into Umno. Two years later, he entrusted the powerful Education Ministry to Mahathir.

Razak also launched the New Economic Policy (NEP). A policy that gave priority to ethnic redistribution based on an expanding pie and implicitly required the public sector to effect redistribution, the NEP was a sharp break from the past reliance on market forces to ensure individual well-being and economic growth.

What the Tunku felt about these major initiatives by Razak that appeared to be an almost total repudiation of the policies that he had championed during his long tenure in office, few people knew. The Tunku did not vent his unhappiness publicly.

The third prime minister, Tun Hussein Onn, also faced a similar situation. A lawyer by profession, he was a stickler for observing the legal proprieties. In 1983, a constitutional amendment was proposed aimed at limiting a ruler's ability to withhold the royal assent and thus stymie the legislative process. And in 1988, the former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas was sacked. On both occasions, there was no shortage of people who told Hussein that he had chosen t thee wrong person as his successor. To his credit, he listened to what they had to say, but never indicated by word or action, that he agreed with them.

Throughout his long premiership, Mahathir, reconfigured this country, physically, economically and socially. He embarked on the privatisation policy, launched the national car project and gave Kuala Lumpur the infrastructure of a world-class city.

During the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis, he imposed selective capital controls and pegged the ringgit to the US dollar. Although controversial, these measures helped speed Malaysia's recovery.

Although some of his policies were flawed, possibly his greatest achievement was to give Malaysians a sense of pride and confidence. Internationally, he placed Malaysia on the radar screen and gave this country a diplomatic heft disproportionate to its small size.

Rapid globalisation and increasing competition, however, has made some of Mahathir's policies unsustainable and some need to be changed.

What should be remembered is this: several policies launched by the Tunku ? and for that matter, by Razak and Hussein - were discontinued by their successors.

But lack of continuity in policy didn't diminish their standing among Malaysians nor did it threaten their place in history. Similarly, policy changes, even if major, don't threaten Mahathir's legacy. His position in our history is secure.

One question needs to be asked: What would Malaysia be like today if past prime ministers, like Razak for example, concerned about hurting the feelings of their predecessors, had failed to undertake the necessary changes in policy?

This question underscores one salient fact: every prime minister, including Mahathir and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, realised Malaysia's continuing growth and prosperity required the present occupant of Sri Perdana to have the courage to make changes as and when necessary, even at the risk of upsetting his predecessor.

Opinions expressed in this article are the personal views of the writer and should not be attributed to any organisation she is connected with


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There goes our money again printing "elegent" booklet...

9:37 AM  

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