Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Johor Sultan Tells Dr Mahathir To Act Like A Pensioner; October 24, 2006 15:53 PM

JOHOR BAHARU, 24 Oct (Bernama) -- The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar al-Marhum Sultan Ismail, was Tuesday reported to have publicly said that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should start acting like a pensioner and stop criticising the government. The sultan was said to have make the remarks to about a hundred people at the Sultan Abdul Bakar Mosque here after performing the Aidilfitri prayers.

"If one has already been pensioned, just behave like a pensioner, what is the use of making more noise?," said a source who repeated the quote to Bernama.

During Umno's 60th anniversary celebrations at Istana Johor in May this year, the sultan had even tried to patch things up between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Dr Mahathir by asking them to be photographed together in a group picture with him and other Umno leaders.
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Govt Will Answer To Dr Mahathir's Criticisms ;
October 24, 2006 17:16 PM ;

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Tuesday that the government will respond to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's allegations against the government and the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The deputy prime minister said Abdullah would give a "long and detailed" answer to all the questions and clarifications sought by his predecessor. "I have spoken to Pak Lah (Abdullah) and he is prepared to answer the issues raised by Tun Dr Mahathir in great detail. "The answers will be given at a meeting or in writing...it's up to the prime minister," Najib told reporters at the Aidilfitri open house of the prime minister and cabinet ministers at the Putra World Trade Centre here. However, Abdullah needed time to answer all the latest allegations by Dr Mahathir because they were only raised last Sunday, he added. Dr Mahathir had been criticising the running of the government under the leadership of Abdullah over the past six months. The former prime minister's dissatisfaction was over various issues like the scrapping of the new bridge linking Malaysia and Singapore and the issuance of the Approved Permits. On Sunday, the two leaders met at Seri Perdana, the official residence of the Prime Minister in Putrajaya, and spoke for about two hours on the issues and Dr Mahathir's grouses. Soon after the meeting, Dr Mahathir revealed that although he was satisfied with the meeting, he was not happy with the response he got from Abdullah. This again stirred the hornet's nest with various ministers coming out in defence of the prime minister. "I was surprised at the statement made by Tun Dr Mahathir just after the meeting with the PM (prime minister) because I thought, firstly, that the meeting was closed-door...one-on-one, and secondly, I and the Umno members had hoped that this meeting was an effort to restore relations and produce something good for the party and country. "The prime minister had hoped for more time to give a detailed reply to the matters raised by Tun Dr Mahathir and I believe that if given time, the government will prepare a full answer to the matters raised by Tun Dr Mahathir," said Najib. Najib said he was surprised because "most people thought that (the meeting) could be a beginning of trying to work things out between the prime minister and Tun Dr Mahathir". "We had hoped for something that would certainly benefit the party and the nation from the meeting but we were taken aback by his (Tun Dr Mahathir's) immediate response to it," he said. He also said that Abdullah could not reply to all of Dr Mahathir's allegations at the meeting because of time constraint. "Only over two hours were allocated for the meeting. The meeting took place during the fasting month and if Tun took one-and-a-half hours, Pak Lah had only a short time to reply to the matters raised by Tun, so he (Abdullah) is prepared to give a more detailed response," Najib said.
He said that while some matters raised by Dr Mahathir had been explained, some others needed detailed explanation. Najib, however, did not indicate when the reply would be made. "He (Dr Mahathir) wanted a reply and if we don't reply, then he will say Umno did not respond to him...so we are doing what we feel, that we need to address some of the issues raised by Tun because if we don't, the public might get confused or perceive that we are not doing the right thing," he added.
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October 24, 2006 16:32 PM

Nazri Says Dr Mahathir Had Postponed Umno Elections Twice Before
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had postponed the UMNO elections twice during his tenure as party president, the Minister in the Prime Minister Department, Datuk Seri Mohammed Nazri Aziz, said Tuesday.

"During his (Dr Mahathir's) time it was okay, during Pak Lah's time is not,"
Referring to Dr Mahathir's criticisms on the deferment of next year's UMNO elections by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi until after the general elections, Nazri said he had not forgotten that Dr Mahathir had postponed the party elections twice before. Dr Mahathir had said that he only postponed the party polls when they were close to the general elections and not two and a half years after the last general elections.
Recently, Abdullah announced that the UMNO elections would be postponed after the general elections, which were only due in 2009. "I have not been in UMNO for only one or two years. During his (Dr Mahathir's) time it was okay, during Pak Lah's time is not," he told reporters at the joint Hari Raya Open House by the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here. Nazri also said that the government would counter criticisms by Dr Mahathir if the latter continued with his action. "We all know that he wants to bring down the government, bring down Pak Lah (Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi)," he said. Saying that he was disturbed by Dr Mahathir's latest criticisms, particularly after he had met Abdullah two days ago, he added, "I don't know what's wrong with him. It is Hari Raya and we should be coming together, asking for forgiveness and all that."
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Dr M's Open Criticism Not Helping To Settle Differences, Says Zam;
October 24, 2006 15:53 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's open criticism after the "one-on-one" meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is not helping to settle the differences between them, Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said Tuesday. The open criticism by the former prime minister would only worsen the situation in the country. What was expected from their meeting to ease the people's feelings did not happen when Dr Mahathir straight away started criticising publicly, he said. "The "four-eye" meeting should have resolved the problems between Abdullah and Dr Mahathir," he told Bernama today.

"Dr Mahathir had made the situation worse"

Zainuddin said Dr Mahathir had made the situation worse with his criticism including painting a bad picture of the country's economy even though Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said recently that Malaysia was still receiving foreign investments. "Foreign investments are still coming in and the country's economy is not as bad as portrayed by Dr Mahathir. Zainuddin said many people sympathised with the prime minister in this matter and their support was evident from the thousands turning up for his Hari Raya open house at the Putra World Trade Centre here today. He said what was said by Dr Mahathir was not good for the nation and it was meaningless to hold such meetings if Dr Mahathir continued with such criticism.

Meanwhile, Kelantan Umno liaison chief Datuk Seri Annuar Musa said Dr Mahathir's criticism had disappointed the people as it did not at all bring any benefit to the country's development. "There was high expectation that the four-eye meeting between the two leaders would clear the air but what had happened now was not to the people's expectation," he told reporters at his Hari Raya open house at his residence "Seri Puri in Peringat, Kota Baharu. Annuar said Abdullah must be firm with the government's stand not to give in to the pressure by Dr Mahathir on his demands over government's decisions. He said Abdullah had actually displayed his open policy by agreeing to meet Dr Mahathir to hear his grievances. "To me, it is not likely that the prime minister will yield to the wishes of Dr Mahathir just like Dr Mahathir will not follow the leadership style of past leaders," he said. Annuar said Dr Mahathir should accept the leadership style of leaders after him and he should let Abdullah to lead the country in his own style.
"Pak Lah has not done anything bad to the country so far. As such, Kelantan Umno is standing firmly behind Pak Lah," he said.
Annuar, however, said Dr Mahathir had the right to criticise anyone, including his successor, but he should refrain from making wild allegations. He said it was unfair for Dr Mahathir to say Malaysia had become a police state and in fact, the claim had indirectly tarnished the credibility of the police force. "What is the basis to say we (Malaysia) has become a police state. Have the police taken extreme actions like taking our the country's reigns?" asked Annuar.
Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said Dr Mahathir should not continue with his public criticism especially after meeting Abdullah on Sunday to raise "what he has been keeping deep in his heart.""He should not go on criticising. What is more important now is to empower Abdullah's leadership.
"Give him a chance to discharge his duties until the next election. We'll see how is the people's support to the prime minister," said the former Selangor Menteri Besar.
MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said: "We regret to see so many adverse things being reported in the press. We hope the meeting will reduce the gap of differences between the two leaders.""Too many open disputes are not good for the country," added the Housing and Local Government Minister.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed: "his criticism are considered as baseless, not objective and emotional"

Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said Dr Mahathir, as the former prime minister, should help the government develop the national economy and not persistently criticising the government.Moreover, his criticism are considered as baseless, not objective and emotional, he said.
As such, he hoped the people would steadfastly remain with the prime minister to pursue his development agenda for the country.

"everything he said cause damage"
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz expressed her disappointment on Dr Mahathir for continuing his criticism on the government.
"I don't know the reason because I don't read his heart but everything he said cause damage," said the Wanita Umno chief. Dr Mahathir should give a chance to Abdullah to run the country in his own style and let the people make their assessment, she added.

GERAKAN’s President Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yik'ss Reaction:
"The meeting was not a good indicator. Two parties were discussing what was described as secretive, so keep it that way; do not publicize it later. Moreover it does make sense, that barely 24 hours after the meeting, some action is expected immediately. This is definitely not good. We at Gerakan had hopes (about Sunday’s meeting). But when we took note of Tun’s reactions, our hopes are now dashed

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Dr M Preferred For A Third Party To Be Present, Says Mubarak Member; October 24, 2006 20:25 PM

PENDANG, Oct 24 (Bernama) -- Although the four-eyed meeting between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Sunday appeared to show their sincerity, the former Prime Minister had actually wanted the presence a reliable third party, said Datuk Othman Abdul, a Mubarak member who played a key role in arranging the meeting. The former Member of Parliament said that it was only after much persuasion that Dr Mahathir agree to the one-to-one pow-wow. "Dr Mahathir did not show a favourable reaction when Mubarak (Council of Former Elected Representatives) told him of the type of meeting preferred by Pak Lah (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi)," said Othman when met by Bernama at his home in Kampung Paya Kerchut near here Tuesday. According to him, Dr Mahathir gave a number of reasons why it was important that a reliable third person should be present.
He said that Dr Mahathir also stated that the meeting was not for the purposes of apologies by either side as no one had done the other wrong and he just wanted to meet Abdullah to air his grievances and give him some advice. However, Othman said that he and other members of Mubarak overall saw the meeting between them as a success and a meaningful gift for Malaysians.
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October 24, 2006 19:04 PM
Abdullah Mum Over Meeting With Dr M October 24, 2006 19:04 PM

"Not on that subject, please. There will be another time"
KUALA LUMPUR, Okt 24 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Tuesday chose to keep mum over his two-hour four-eyed meeting with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya on Sunday. "Not on that subject, please. There will be another time," came the polite response from the country's top politician to reporters at the Cabinet's Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at the Putra World Trade Centre here.
Pressed further to open up and comment on the meeting, Abdullah, who was in a jovial mood after receiving thousands of guests and visitors at the open house, again pleaded: "No...I am not talking on that subject...there will be a time for that".The prime minister, however, said the huge turnout at today's open house, which attracted nearly 200,000 people from all walks of life, demonstrated that the people had confidence in him. "I believe those who came are happy. Some told me keep on going with the good job. We will support you (they said). There are some who are happy and some not. People give me confidence...I like to meet the people," Abdullah added. Dr Mahathir has been criticising Abdullah's administration of the government and the economy, especially in the last six months.

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