Monday, June 19, 2006

No SACKING; No 'NEW' Answers for Tun Mahathir; Moral victory for Premier Abdullah; MASSIVE Support from State-National leaders; 2 mins Q & A from PM

“No Umno leader who is not supportive of Abdullah…there is no faction within”

The position of Dr Mahathir as a member of UMNO is safe for now. On Sunday PM Abdullah dismissed reports that the Tun would be sacked (see below). The UMNO supreme council meetin g on Monday, 19th June 2006 did not discuss the issue of sacking of Tun Mahathir.

Instead the UMNO leaders unanimously declared their support for the PM Datuk Seri Abdullah in the Supreme Council meeting in KL. After the meeting the Deputy Premier told reporters that the UMNO Supreme council with one voice fully supported Datuk Seri Abdullah as the PM and President of UMNO. He added that the support was voiced by national and state leaders in recognition of the strong mandate given by the people to the priemeir in the last election in 2004.

The UMNO decision gave PM a moral victory and a breathing space in the face of attacks from the former priemier. Datuk seri Abdullah said the present administration needed to refocus the direction of the ecomnoy in the 9th Malaysia Plan to realize vision 2020.

The government can make any decision based on the situation. All the decisions we make are based on public interest. If there is any criticism from Tun (Mahathir) or leaders, we will explain objectively, factually, respectfully and as best as we can,” said Najib

The former priemer main grouse is the Govermnets decision to halt several Mega infrastructure projects including the bridge to Singapore.

PM Abdullah Q&A lasted a mere 2 minutes answering 4 questions.

The following is a verbal trranscript:
Journalist: Have Tun Mahathir’s statements created factions in Umno?

Abdullah: No. That has been answered. Next question.

Was there any discussion of Umno’s election next year at today’s

No discussion in relation to that.

What if Mahathir is still unhappy with the government’s replies to his

We will leave it as it is. We try our best to explain, if (those in)
any quarter including Tun (Mahathir) are still unhappy, what can we
do? But we will give full explanations.

Will the Umno supreme council meet Mahathir?

No decision made on that.

Malaysiakini full account By Subscription

What Rafidah said By subscription

Here are some extract from Malaysiakini:

However, Puteri Umno head Noraini Ahmad - a member of the party’s highest decision-making body - told reporters later that there had been no discussion of speculation that Mahathir would be sacked from the party.

Asked if Mahathir - the former prime minister of 22 years up to 2003 - is still an Umno member, she replied: “Yes, he is.”

During the press conference, Abdullah refrained from providing comments, asking his deputy Najib Abdul Razak to read out a short statement representing the party’s stance on the spat between Mahathir and the current administration

continue to read the Asian Wall Street Journal's report

Malaysia PM Rejects Rumors Of Mahathir UMNO Expulsion

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, June 18, 2006 10:43 p.m.

KUALA LUMPUR (AP)--Malaysia's prime minister has dismissed speculation by opposition politicians that former longtime leader Mahathir Mohamad could be sacked from the ruling party for criticizing government policies.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he was not aware of rumors that the United Malays National Organization's decision-making council planned to discuss disciplinary action against Mahathir during a meeting Monday.

"I am the (UMNO) president and I don't even know about it," Abdullah, who was scheduled to chair the meeting, was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times newspaper.

Mahathir, who handed power to Abdullah in 2003, triggered fears of a split within UMNO, which leads Malaysia's coalition government of multiethnic parties, after he accused his successor earlier this month of reversing his policies and betraying his trust.

Last week, Husam Musa, vice president of UMNO's main opposition rival, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, claimed he received information that Abdullah would propose a motion to expel Mahathir at UMNO's supreme council meeting Monday.

Commenting on Husam's allegation, Abdullah told reporters Sunday that "we cannot be going by what PAS says," the national news agency Bernama reported.

Mahathir holds no government posts but retains influence following his 22 years in power. He has demanded explanations of several issues from the government, including Abdullah's decision to scrap a plan to build a new bridge to Singapore, one of Mahathir's pet projects.

Abdullah - who has won declarations of support from Cabinet ministers and other officials - has told relevant ministries to provide detailed explanations to quell Mahathir's grievances, even though the retired leader was unsatisfied by the government's previous rebuttals.

Political observers have voiced concerns that Mahathir's behavior could stir dissension within UMNO, which has more than 3 million members and represents Malaysia's ethnic Malay Muslim majority. Business leaders warn that such a scenario would undermine investor

..continue reading from S'pore Business Times:
Abdullah must score goals - fast. He must make a few quick decisive moves in face of criticisms from Dr Mahathir

and lastest update

Bernama has released an account of:
No More Explanation On AP Issue, Says Rafidah, June 19, 2006 17:47 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Bernama) -- International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said Monday there would no more explanation on the issue of Approved Permit (AP) for import of vehicles.

She said the explanation on the issue had been given in Parliament and at the Umno General Assembly.

"We have nothing more to add. To me, there is nothing more on the issue, nothing to add," she said when approached by reporters after the Umno Supreme Council meeting, here.

Rafidah, who is Wanita Umno chief, said all the explanations had been made and similar explanations would be given at the grassroot level.

"I even wrote to Tun (Dr Mahathir Mohamad), you see. I already explained to him. But if they want to put it into (a) formal (thing), we can give the same information. There's nothing more to add," she said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said last week that the relevant ministries would explain the issues raised by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his criticism in recent months of several decisions made by the Abdullah-led administration.

The issues included the AP for import of vehicles and the half-bridge on the Malaysian side of the causeway linking Singapore.

Meanwhile, Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said the main focus of the government now was to explain the relevant issues to the public, not making the former prime minister happy.

"We must make the public aware and understand. I don't think it is Tun's (Dr Mahathir's) happiness that we should be concerned about.

"I feel it is impossible to satisfy him (Dr Mahathir) because, as long as I have known him, he has an answer for all answers. There will be no end," he added.

Shahrir said that as the former prime minister, Dr Mahathir had many channels to give his views and advice, and furthermore he was still a member of Umno.

"With his disposition and standing, he has enough channels. It is not necessary to go through the media. It is preferable for the contact to be made directly through the available channels."

Shahrir also said that with Dr Mahathir's standing, he should be cautious with his open criticisms, adding that his good intentions could be exploited by certain people.


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