Saturday, June 10, 2006

More Pics -Emperor AKIHITO and Empress visit MALAYSIA (after 15 years), Flew in from S’PORE to IPOH, met by the Raja Muda and sister at Airport

The Raja Muda welcoming the Emperor and Empress at the Airport

The Raja Muda's sister extending a warm welcome to the Emperor

The Royal entourage being welcomed by waving school children

Emperor Akihito having a chat with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before the Banquet in KL

The Emperor and Emperess entering the Bangquet Hall; PM Abdullah is seen at the back

The last visit by the Emperor and Empress was on 30 Sept 1991 when the Sultan was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia then , Photo session at Royal banquet in National Palace.

June 10 2006: The Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan flew in from Singapore and paid a short visit to IPOH, Perak, Malaysia to fulfill a pledge he made 15 years ago to visit the royal town of Kuala Kangsar. That trip was cancelled due to haze. He was met on arrival at the Ipoh Airport by the Raja Muda of Perak and his sister. Also at the Airport were the Menteri Besar, State Secretary and executive councilors and other dignitaries.

The Sultan of Perak Raja Azlan Shah and Tuanku Bainun the Raja Perempuan showed the royal couple around the Raja Azlan Gallery and latter toured the Malay College in Kusla Kangsar. Latter the royal couple left for Kuala Lumpur to attend a banquet at Istana Negera.

Updated: Two photos from KL

EXCLUSIVE BERNAMA INTERVIEW- TUN MUSA HITAM: Conflict weakens UMNO & Government.; Destabilize nation: Dr M “right .. and win all the time”

Tun Musa Hitam in a wide ranging 75 m interview with Bernama suggested that Dr Mahathir is suffering from “Post Prime Ministerial Syndrome which cause him to think “he is only right” all the time. He is speaking up because the “national interest” is at stake. He sees the conflict as an attempt by Dr M of weakening UMNO by driving a wedge between the leaders when he stated his preference for Najib.over Abdullah.
He also stated that this conflict can waken the morale of UMNO, Government and people and may destabilize the nation in the eyes of investors. Of the promises made to former PM, Tun Musa mentioned that the promises to the people are more important as more facts are known about the cancelled projects. He is saddened by the turn of events and strongly felt that Government polices must be changed and made adaptable to the needs of the people. The conflict of opinions between PM and the Dr M a negative impression of preference of Najib over Abdullah He also stated Dr Mahathir loves nothing but fights all his life. He thrives on fights and confrontations and when Dr Mahathir fights, he wants to win.

The following is the Bernama's despatch

Tun Mahathir Undergoing Post Prime Ministerial Syndrome - Musa

By Mohd Fisol Abdullah and Jamaluddin Muhammad
June 09, 2006 14:52 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 (Bernama) -- Tun Musa Hitam, who stepped down as deputy prime minister in February 1986 following differences of opinion with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, knows very well the outspoken style of his former boss.

To him, Dr Mahathir's open criticism of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently, is not only improper, but does not augur well for the
party and nation.

For all the elder statesman's remarks, Musa said in jest that Dr Mahathir was undergoing a post-prime ministerial syndrome, which caused the former premier to think that "only he is right."

According to Musa, he had also experienced a similar syndrome but he managed
to check himself. I just told myself to shut up. I told myself...look give up, withdraw. You cannot go on doing this. Let the others take over. They can do. They may or may not be doing as well as I want to do but they are now in place.

"They have been given the full support, the full support of the party, of the rakyat. I suggest stop interfering with them," he said.

In a 75-minute interview with Bernama at his residence in Bukit Tunku here, Musa said he decided to speak up because he did not want the situation to
get out of hand.

"All I can say now is that... Dr Mahathir just stop it. Enough is enough. Don't do anything. If he continues (with his remarks), no one will gain. Only Dr Mahathir will be satisfied, but those who are against us will benefit," he said in the interview with Bernama news editor Mohd Fisol Jaafar and its senior journalist Jamaluddin Mohamad.

Musa also said if there had been a promise between Dr Mahathir and Abdullah before, it should not be binding but what was important was Abdullah's promise to the people who had been given the mandate to him as prime minister.

Below are the full text of the interview with Tun Musa Hitam:

Bernama: Tun, please share with us your views on this conflict of opinions
between the former Prime Minister and the current administration

Tun Musa: What I am saying here are all my personal views as I no longer hold any positions. I am no longer in the government and in actual fact, I am outside the government, not related to any post, such as formulating policies or trategies in the administration.

This is how I see it. Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad), since stepping down as Prime Minister, had often times said that firstly, he would not interfere in the affairs of the government and politics. Although he had been saying this since his departure from office, what I can see is that, he has not stopped doing something. All the statements he made, contradicted with his promises.

This time, I feel a sense of remorse over Tun Dr Mahathir's criticisms which
were levelled directly or indirectly at the administration of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

On a direct level, I have had a conversation with him at one time and heard his views which were seen as criticisms too. Indirectly, I heard people talking and reports in the newspapers on his criticisms.

At that time, that was considered normal, especially (criticisms) from a former minister, Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister. That was a normal phenomenon.

But in the past one to two months, Tun Dr Mahathir seems to be unabashed. Tun Dr Mahathir had cast aside the ethics or tradition which had long been known among the Umno members in general, when he blatantly and openly criticised Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

(He) not only made criticisms on issues but also used "very unkind words to the Prime Minister."

"The most unkind word" of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was that he (Abdullah) was not his first choice as (Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) was the one who garnered the highest votes. But it was clear in Umno's history itself, that was a norm.

Dr Mahathir was also No. 3 then. I was also No. 3 before. This is not an issue but he had brought it up intentionally. Not only that, by saying that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was not his first choice, and that Najib was better, he appeared to have directly wanted to split the two. I am very much saddened by this. I am worried it may bring negative effects.

Bernama: Negative implications? What do you mean?

Tun Musa: Yes, negative implications which seem to be telling Najib, "I like you actually. You are better but not Pak Lah." Under the present situation, I feel it is not proper, and it is the opinion of a former Prime Minister which can only weaken the morale in Umno and the government.

We should not forget that Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi had been chosen by the people with a large majority, in fact larger than what was achieved by Dr Mahathir. Even the votes polled by Dr Mahathir were not as high (as those achieved by Abdullah). Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi secured larger votes.

In my view, the overwhelming mandate given by the people to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, was because the people wanted a change after 22 years under Dr Mahathir's stewardship, and one of the strengths of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who received the support of the people, was the expectation that he would be different from Dr Mahathir.

Abdullah Badawi is not Dr Mahathir and Abdullah Badawi had given hope to the people that his administration would be more open, transparent, more tolerant, and would allow more press freedom, among others.

Now we can see that, and no one can deny that all these have taken place and are different from Dr Mahathir's era.

I realise that Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi has his own weaknesses. Dr Mahathir, in my opinion, also has many weaknesses but Dr Mahathir was given the support of the party and the people at large who had trust in the party.The people believe that the party can provide the leadership and administration, and in accordance with the aspirations of the people to develop the nation.

I have been regarded as Pak Lah's adviser. Actually no. I admit I do criticise Pak Lah. Only the Prime Minister knows, when I met him, I criticised more than offering praises, without fear of being honest.

What I am suggesting here, is there is no reason why people like Tun Dr Mahathir cannot do likewise. More so when Dr Mahathir was the head of the administration and party leader, he had always wanted Umno members who wanted to criticise the government, to do it through the proper channels.
Dr Mahathir says he is an ordinary person, hence he is an ordinary member. As such, he should behave like an ordinary member, that is to follow tradition. Dr Mahathir would not tolerate those people who made statements, criticise the government outside the party or do not go through the (right) channel. In my view, there is no reason why Dr Mahathir cannot do as I did.

Bernama: You mean, going through the right channel?

Tun Musa: Yes, through the proper channel. His tirade would not benefit anyone except the opposition party. I know many Umno people had been criticising the Prime Minister from before till today. There were allegations of corruption during Dr Mahathir's time. He said there was no proof. Dr Mahathir now claims that there is corruption (under the present administration), but, where is the proof. Same argument.

Bernama: Tun, you just said this action will weaken the morale of Umno members, the government and the people. Do you see that happening?

Tun Musa: Who said that? Tun Dr Mahathir, the former Prime Minister, former Umno President. Whether we agree or not, that's not the question. The question is that it is the former Prime Minister who unashamedly levelled criticisms at the present government led by Umno and the Barisan Nasional. There are Umno party members and those among the Barisan Nasional who are depressed (by this state of affairs).

Bernama: Do you see this having an impact at the international level and the international views on

Tun Musa: One of the impacts would be economic analysts and investors inferring that there is some troubling development within Umno which is the major and most important party in the country.

It gives a sense of deja vu to me. I feel the sense of deja vu, of a repetition of history. Previously, Tunku Abdul Rahman criticised Dr Mahathir when Dr Mahathir became Prime Minister. The situation became rather unstable. And how did Dr Mahathir criticise Tunku Abdul Rahman. But then, Dr Mahathir was not the Prime Minister or an ex-Prime Minister. He was a backbencher then. How Tunku Abdul Rahman, who strongly criticised Dr Mahathir, but he (Tunku) then was with those who had left Umno and formed Semangat 46. It had a big impact. How an upheaval came about. But the Tunku was an outsider, the founding father of

This involves a person who was Prime Minister for 22 years. Someone who is really rooted. What I can say is that times are different. Dr Mahathir's time was different, things are different for Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi. Their styles are also different. Both of them are different people and their make-up are also different.

In terms of interpretation, is difference in personalities also of national interest? I don't subscribe to the thinking that interpretation or inference "is the monopoly of only one man".

If Dr Mahathir says something is "against the national interest, then I must speak up", then he too should respect that when Datuk Seri Abdullah does something, he is doing it in the national interest. More so in many matters that Dr Mahathir has shown dissatisfaction, I am sure they have been discussed by the Cabinet.

It doesn't mean that ministers who had previously served under Dr Mahathir's cabinet, cannot be different in Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's. In their opinion, times have changed, the situation has changed and it is they who determine what is "in the interest of national interest", so they change.

Bernama: During the time of Tun Razak, the subject of Science and Maths, the education policy, everything was taught in Malay. He (Dr Mahathir) changed it during his premiership. He changed Science and Mathematics to be taught in English. Is he also not revoking something?

Tun Musa: I have made my criticisms on the matter. One morning I woke up to find that everything has changed. Science and Mathematics have been taught in English. Overnight. In one night it has changed. This is an issue of utmost importance in the history of Umno's struggle all these years. I am not against the change but the way it was done. (It was) changed without debate. It has become fait accompli overnight. Why? The government under the Prime Ministership of Dr Mahathir had decided to change it without taking into consideration the policy formulated by Barisan Nasional and Umno. The issue here is how it should be done.

That was an issue of national interest, which could be debated but there was no debate. Fait accompli means it cannot be further questioned. The question now is on the role of the former Prime Minister. Is it constructive criticism or is it destructive? Of course he (Dr Mahathir) said it is constructive, he said it is of national interest. I said it is beginning to be clear that it is going to be destructive and when you talk about national interest, to me the present government is as good an interpreter of national interest as Dr Mahathir claimed to be during his time.

Bernama: Among the points raised by Tun Dr Mahathir was that his successor has turned back on his promises to him. That Datuk Seri Abdullah more or less agreed not to change Tun Dr Mahathir's plans and policies. My question, is it wrong for a successing government to make adjustments and invoke changes to policies or plans set by the previous government?

Tun Musa: What I understand is he (Dr Mahathir) said Datuk Seri Abdullah has turned back on his promises to him. His promise to him. Two issues here. I don't know what was promised or have been said, or happened between the two leaders.

Assuming that Pak Lah had made a promise to him. To me, what is important is not what he had promised to the former Prime Minister, but what was promised to the people. Whatever promises and pledges made when they took the reins of power, were done in the interest of the people, nation, race and religion. For the nation. Again, for national interest.

When he first became the Prime Minister, he probably did not know then. Now he knows in depth. He says this is wrong, this is not suitable. In the national interest, this is not good. What's wrong in making changes. We must remember that ultimately it is the rakyat who will decide whether a
government led by a particular leader, by a particular party is fit to govern or continue to govern. That is the essence of democracy. We cannot say one is not working for the national interest. Yes, the current leader with his Cabinet and the whole administration is backed by the people.
In my opinion, Dr Mahathir is a man with supreme confidence of himself. He is supremely confident of himself, of his capability, to the extent that he could not find anybody who could be better than him. The fact that he had four deputy prime ministers, and each one whom he claimed had stabbed him on the back, speaks quite a lot about this man. After he has chosen whoever he
is, he is not going to say, "You are doing the right things." He will continue to say this is the way to do it. He cannot get used to the idea that after 22 years of administration he needs to accept the reality of different people dealing with things differently and interpreting things. differently. This is what I feel.
During my meeting with him, he had openly said: "You stabbed me on the back," I am not afraid to say this. He has said many times before, "You stabbed me on the back". I accepted this in good humour, politically. To me, I did not stab him on the back, I thought he stabbed me on the back. That's politics.

If it is said that the current Prime Minister stabbed him on the back, the way he does is to retaliate. Stabbing the current Prime Minister on the back. That is not right. That is not helping anyone except those who are against the country, party and our government. Those who like to see Umno destroyed, those who like the government destroyed, those who like us to fail are the ones who agree with him. Who is he helping? I am sure he will be dismissing with defiance.

I have decided to speak up. I have not made such comments before. During Dr Mahathir's time, I expressed my thanks to him. Despite having left the government for a long time, I have met him a few times as the former Prime Minister, fought with him, as a result of my differences with him. I expressed my views. I made my criticisms, and there were times I expressed the sentiments of other people as I believed that was the only way to deal with it.

Bernama: Tun, you mentioned that you even criticised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah but not openly.

Tun Musa: Yes, I criticised him. If only the walls could talk. If you could ask him, he would be frank about it. I think I am one of the few who really criticised rather than advised him. I am not his adviser. I am his critic. I am a very blatant critic of the Prime Minister. He accepts it beautifully. You may criticise and if he has not changed, that's not my problem. I think whatever he agreed or not agreed, or whether he changed or not, he must think for himself. He has to make decisions. It is only two years as Prime Minister. I think more people need to meet him, to criticise him. I am so critical of him, I will tell you frankly, some of his boys are beginning to say: "Musa is anti Pak Lah. I am never scared of them. I have nothing to lose or gain. Nothing at all. I am not interested. I have no agenda at all. I criticised him".

Bernama: On what matters?

Tun Musa: I am not going to tell you. If I tell you now I will become Dr Mahathir.

Bernama: Among the subjects raised?

Tun Musa: On administration, politics, what is happening in the country. He (Pak lah) will not deny this.

I am prepared to be the runner for both of them. Several times when I played
golf, I dropped by at Dr Mahathir's house. Having sat down, I said: "Come let's have a chat."

He can call the Prime Minister. I am sure this Prime Minister is the last person to say no. Just call. Invite him for makan (meal). Come over. Come on, we have been in the same party, we have similar objectives. That is national interest. My wish in the interest of the nation, Dr Mahathir changes his way, his methodology of criticising the leadership and the government. In the interest of unity of Umno, Barisan Nasional and in the interest of morale, I hope Dr Mahathir changes but I am sure he is going to say: "I don't care. It does not matter".

It does not matter whether he cares or not but it is my duty to say this.Its effect, it is going to be, it is beginning to be showing signs of destructiveness and divisiveness within the party. Surely he does not want this. I am very happy that Number One, the Prime Minister is keeping his elegant silence. Number Two Datuk Najib has made a very constructive statement in his calls for everybody to give undivided support to the Prime Minister and his leadership. Not only within Umno but within the Barisan Nasional.

These are very encouraging signs made by younger leaders who have taken over from Dr Mahathir who have taken long ago from me, I think these leaders are treating it in the right way. But I need to be straight forward.

Bernama: You said earlier you believed that it was not in his interest to see the party divided. But looking at the record, when he took over the leadership, somehow he permitted these things to happen. He stated that he would like to see contests for the deputy president. He permitted you (Musa) and Tengku Razaleigh. Even the second round, he admitted and retained Tengku Razaleigh. The first round you could have just said the position is vacant.
The second round you (Musa) were already there. You were the Deputy Prime Minister. Your subordinate came to challenge you. By right, there was no excuse for the second round. He retained Tengku Razaleigh in the Cabinet and then later on subsequently bitter by his style of his leadership, the party split seriously. The matter was taken to court. It was during his leadership that Umno was banned. He cannot run away from these historical facts

Tun Musa: I prefer not to rehash old issues. That's another story. The only thing relating to your question is when I mentioned about the divisiveness with Najib by saying: "Oh Dollah is not first choice. Najib would have been" . I countered him by saying in the history of Umno, it always was never the first choice, he wasn't either. What's the big deal in Umno anyway. By saying that, I interpret it as though he is trying to divide the two. That is why I gave the compliment to Najib for supporting Pak Lah and to the Prime Minister for keeping quiet.

There is an attempt to divide. We should not allow that to happen. Umno members, Barisan Nasional should not fall into the trap, especially the leaders have to beware of the divide and rule scenario. No divide and rule, he is not ruling. I mean, trying to split the leadership by that statement. There is a lot in his statement. This is not the first time that Najib is the one. In other words trying to tell Najib: "Actually you are the man I wanted. This man is not good". That's why I compliment Najib. That's the point. This divide and rule thing has been around since long ago, it's a long story.

Bernama: He was the number three vice-president. When you stepped down, he took Ghafar in. Ghafar was the third vice-president.

Tun Musa: I was also number three. Tengku Razaleigh was number one. After that when Tengku Razaleigh won number one, he said he wanted to fight again.

Bernama: Tun, did you expect this to happen?

Tun Musa: Yes I did. I am not surprised because as I said Dr Mahathir can never... I told you from the beginning. I said from the beginning that Dr Mahathir had said: "I am not going to interfere in the government. I am not going to interfere in politics" but from the beginning he has been doing exactly what he said he was not going to do. I am not surprised simply because that I used to joke in a way that Dr Mahathir was suffering post-prime-ministerial syndrome. Now I have the impression that he is suffering from severe post- prime-ministerial syndrome. Only he is right.

Everyone suffers from it, just to a different degree. I suffered from post-
deputy-prime-ministerial syndrome
but I controlled it. I just told myself to shut up. I told myself look give up, withdraw. You cannot go on doing this. Let the others. Let the others take over. They can do. They may or may not be doing as well as I would like but they are now in place. They have been given the full support of the party and the people.

I suggest to stop interfering with them. The people have decided on these people. That was my attitude and that is still my attitude. This is only logical. That is what democracy is all about. You look anywhere in the world. Former leaders, they just go. There are few exceptions. Alan Garcia of
Peru who was president at one time but then he decided to come back and stood for election and just became president again after 20 years.

Bernama: You used to be a deputy. Assuming this scenario, if you were in the Prime Minister's chair today, what would you do?

Tun Musa: If I were the prime minister, I can tell you I would not be as polite as Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Enough is enough. Don't say you don't want to interfere and the next moment keep making statements to the contrary.
Habit of choosing the wrong people. Had it ever occurred to him that he had
been wrong rather the people wrong. The people cannot be wrong. The boss was wrong.

Petronas money is not government money. Petronas money is the people's money and the government should know it must be used. The people's money should not be abused. In this matter, surely Dr Mahathir will say Putrajaya is a
very good project. O.K. he was the prime minister, he built it. If the current Prime Minister says no, then it should not be. He can't start condemning Abdullah for that.

Bernama: Tun, did you call Tun Mahathir or Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Abdullah recently

Tun Musa: No. It so happened, he (Datuk Seri Abdullah) was officiating the
World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation on Wednesday night. I sat next to
him. All I can say is that, the amazing thing about him was that, he was so
calm about it. He did mention it. He said he would deal with it in his own
way. He did not throw up a fit. He was not falling into the trap of
responding. Dr Mahathir loves nothing but fights all his life. He thrives on
fights and confrontations and when Dr Mahathir fights, he wants to win. This has always been his stunt in life. Here, as far as he is concerned he wants to win. He is supremely confident of himself

Bernama: You mentioned that you are prepared to play the middle man's role.
Would you?

Tun Musa: I don't like to use the word middle man. My argument is that I have been seeing Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the right occasion at the right time. One to one. Most, if not all the time criticisms, were very frank. Very open, even may have sounded rude to some but he accepted them in good faith. Amazing, he has. So there is no reason why Dr Mahathir cannot do the same. In the interest of the party, in the interest of the nation, so as not to rock the boat in accordance with the traditions of the party, why not? Considering everything, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi will only be too happy to receive him, to listen to him one to one. I think he would appreciate it. Anyway, I feel so strongly about this, if I am needed to be the running boy to fix appointments, if necessary, so be it.

Bernama: Could it be Tun Dr Mahathir's way of doing it is not right?
Shouldn't he have met Abdullah and raised it directly in an open, sincere
and transparent manner

Tun Musa: Such openness is good in terms of governance. That is, the government should be open about what's happening. Freedom of information,
freedom of the press but the openness of the former Prime Minister in making
such harsh criticisms against the Prime Minister can best be described as
going overboard. The line of positive constructive contribution has been

Bernama: To your knowledge Tun, do such things happen in other countries?

Tun Musa: I have never heard of it. Never. This is about personalities. Other countries don't have a Dr Mahathir.

In most of the democratic countries, immediately after they give way, they just come for functions to show support. In the
United States, not a word of support, not a word of criticism (from senior George Bush to his son George W. Bush, the president). Even in Singapore, of course Lee Kuan Yew still holds a position but there are no open criticisms. Even in Thailand, former prime ministers do not interfere unless they are still active in politics. Chuan Leekpai is still active in politics so he has the right to be.However, it is of no point to compare with other countries.

If Dr Mahathir is still Prime Minister, he would have said: "This will cause
disunity. Don't do this. Follow tradition."

Bernama: Tun, are you sad over what had happened?

Tun Musa: I feel sad. I am very sad that it has reached this level. I really wish the party can resolve it. I shouldn't say resolve. This matter should be dealt with by the party leadership, among themselves. I don't know how, but I have full confidence the current leadership can deal with it.

All I want to say now to Dr Mahathir... enough, enough, don't make matters worse. If he still wants to continue, no one is going to gain from it. Only Dr Mahathir will be satisfied in the end but those who will ultimately gain are those against us.

Bernama: Tun, did you have any gentlemen's agreement when you stepped down, to keep quiet?

Tun Musa: Never. Never. I used my common sense, my principles, my democratic principles, I am no longer the representative of the people, I am no more in the government, I have retired. So I speak for myself. No agreement, but as I said I saw Dr Mahathir often. Often enough. I never went to see him to praise him and he knew it. He always had time for me. Never tried curry favour with him. Never did. Never asked for anything either. We discussed issues, a lot on international relations. I conveyed issues which I thought necessary and important matters, to him myself.

Once in a while, we had arguments but it was always in good spirit. So I don't see why he cannot do the same thing with the current prime minister. Maybe he thinks he is too superior. That is not our problem. That will be his biggest problem to overcome. If he is really sincere.

Bernama: Tun, can a plan or policy be changed?

Tun Musa: Yes. Only the Quran cannot be changed. Only Allah's words cannot be changed. In politics and government, adaptibility and flexibility are the most important principles in government, based on feedback, information and knowledge. Knowledge-economy and knowledge-government.

Bernama: Perhaps Tun Dr Mahathir sees Pak Lah as too soft and unable to make decisions?

Tun Musa: It is not good to say something like that about someone. Then, the intentions are not good.

Bernama: (Dr Mahathir)'s anger at being accused of spending the nation's money...

Tun Musa: Incidentally, I have never heard the Prime Minister say so. Not even to me. He (Pak Lah) did tell me about deficits. This was when he just took over, before his second year was over. He was quite pre-occupied with deficits but Dr Mahathir did not bother about it. But it is not uncommon in government that one leader agrees that deficit spending is better while another says deficits should be controlled. It is a normal debate in the administration of a country. Dr Mahathir did not bother about deficits and Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was worried about deficits and he tried to reduce and he did it. But in the process, this angered Dr Mahathir. One should not get angry over this...

Upadte 1: See Dr M: Crying for answers
See also Dr M youngest son Mukriz comments
and Datuk Hishammuddin, UMNO Youth Chief Comment
Seee previous post on: REACATIONS to Dr M outburts

REACTIONS to Dr M: Nazri: MISCHIEVIOUS, driving wedge between No 1 & No2; people BELIVE him; Musa: “against TRADITION & PROTOCOLOnly he is right”

The outburst- some say is very calculated and blunt and directed against PM and was in bad taste. Tun Musa said that it is “against tradition & protocol” and had good words for PM Badawi: “elegance silence. mark of a good leader”. Datuk Seri Nasri was equally blunt, classifying his outburst as “mischievious”. Some UMNO do support him for their own reasons.

The Tun must have felt very disappointed and frustrated that in the eyes of all his close friends and associates he is now “impotent” to get things done.With the final mega projects being cancelled, he has nothing more to lose but to hit back in anger. Behind them you will almost always find an inhibited impulse, or many of them, that motivated him to move in some ideal direction—to seek understanding from his anointed - so idealized in his mind that it seemed impossible to achieve. Then he is left with the impulse to strike out.

The following views are culled from the 3 main English papers; the highlights are added in for easier reading.

Read on (a long read…)

From the SUN

Spat a concern Political stability is one of Malaysia's strongest cards, and it should not be undermined." ­ Munir Majid ,K L Business Club president & MAS Chairman

by R. Manirajan and Pauline Puah, From The Sun, 9 June 2006

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's scathing criticism of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was in every conversation yesterday ­ and many are worried over where it will all lead.
Abdullah declined to comment on the criticisms, saying he wanted to concentrate on fulfilling the trust of the people who gave overwhelming support to the Barisan Nasional government in the 2004 general election.
"There's no need to expand on it. Tun (Dr Mahathir) is free to say anything. It is not a problem to me, because our country is democratic," he said in
However, members of Abdullah's administration ­ both at federal and at state levels ­ have rallied to express support for him and to answer angry points raised by Mahathir on Wednesday.
Some are also of the opinion that it is best for both parties to sit down and sort out their differences, instead of continuing to avoid the issue or to come up with a strong answer when the question is posed.
Some say Mahathir was disrespectful by expressing his dissatisfaction to the media, especially a gathering of foreign media personnel. The former prime minister accused Abdullah of back-stabbing him and not keeping to his promises after the latter became premier. He also regretted picking Abdullah to succeed him.
MP for Gua Musang Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who took on Mahathir for the Umno presidency in 1987 but lost, urged Abdullah and Mahathir to resolve their differences and dissatisfaction for the sake of the country and the people. He said Mahathir has the right to express his views, and Abdullah, like any other men, wants to be his own master
Kuala Lumpur Business Club president Datuk Dr Munir Majid, who is also Malaysia Airlines chairman, described the latest development as "very distressing" for business.
He hoped it will not develop into a destabilised political environment. "Political stability is one of
Malaysia's strongest cards, and it should not be undermined."
Munir noted that the huge mandate given to the prime minister in the 2004 general election is "the most important sanction of the smooth political succession that took place end of October 2003".
Other views:
Umno Veterans Club's Datuk Saidin Thamby said due respect should be given to Mahathir by the present leadership as he had contributed 21 years of his service for the betterment of the country.
"As an ex-prime minister who had initiated many programmes, which were jointly agreed to by the cabinet .. I feel those programmes should not be cancelled and this is not the right way to go about it," he said.
An Umno veteran, who requested anonymity, said Mahathir took 21 years to make his mark in the government and he should also allow Abdullah time to do so. "Abdullah has only been there for three years and still getting settled in office ... and in his second year, he knew the honeymoon period was over. So let's give him a chance to undo many things that are not right in the government."
welcomed Mahathir's support for freedom of expression and support his rights to criticise the government. "Unfortunately, when critics criticised Tun Mahathir's government, he always called them traitors, who were influenced and dominated by the West," said its secretary-general Dr Francis Loh Kok Wah.
Razaleigh: Resolve differences
by R. Manirajan ,Sun
KUALA LUMPUR: MP for Gua Musang Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah yesterday urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to resolve their differences and dissatisfaction for the sake of the country and the people. He said a solution needed to be found on whatever that was voiced recently and attempts made to move forward.
While not blaming the leaders for whatever is happening, he said the matter should not be allowed to escalate.
"All these must have happened because something made Dr Mahathir very, very unhappy. The prime minister, on his side, must also have his reason for doing what he had to do," Tengku Razaleigh told reporters at his residence.
Asked whether Mahathir should have made such a blunt statement against Abdullah, he said Mahathir has a right to voice his views, like other Malaysians.
But, referring to Abdullah, he said: "I think any man wants to be his own master."
On Mahathir's concern that the economy is not moving well, Tengku Razaleigh concurred that many in the business circle had met him to express their unhappiness about this.
"The economy is not about one or two persons, but involves the livelihood of millions of people. Abdullah received a huge mandate from the people and due to this, the expectations are very high," he said.
"New ideas need to be injected to stimulate the economy. Things have slowed down very badly. Businessmen are hoping things will return to normal."
On Mahathir's claim that somebody might be influencing Abdullah, Tengku Razaleigh said he had also heard of this and a lot of people were making remarks about it.
"I have no evidence but if this is true, it will weaken the government's administration."
Asked if he knew who these people are, he said he heard it is someone from the Umno Supreme Council and one who is not in the council but close to the leadership.
On whether Mahathir might be influenced to make the latest statement, Tengku Razaleigh said: "Mahathir cannot be influenced by anyone, no one can silence him. He is not afraid of anyone and I admire a man like that."
Asked whether he would play a role to mend the rift between both leaders, he said he would not.
On whether Mahathir had met him at a private function recently, Tengku Razaleigh said Mahathir spoke to him briefly about his concern about the Approved Permits, Proton, and the trade agreements signed with
Japan which will make Malaysia weaker.
Asked if there was a call for him to do national service and come back to the government, Tengku Razaleigh said: "We will see. This is not a right forum and we will also have to see what the conditions are."
From the NST

PM's Cool:Abdullah stays out of fray Joniston Bangkuai, The NST
09 Jun 2006
: He could have come out with guns blazing. With Cabinet ministers and Barisan Nasional component parties rallying strongly around him, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was on solid ground to counter Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism on Wednesday with some strong language.
He would have been given latitude by the public to hit back, after being singed by the former prime minister only 24 hours before.
But Abdullah chose elegance over a street brawl, unity over confrontation. More importantly, he chose national interest over personal discomfort.
"There’s no need to expand on it," he said. "Tun (Dr Mahathir) is free to say anything. It is not a problem to me, because our country is democratic."
Try as they did, reporters could not get him to respond to any of the criticisms directed against him by Dr Mahathir. When asked whether he was surprised that Dr Mahathir had accused him of betrayal and ingratitude, he replied: "That’s enough. Let us talk about other matters."
During a meeting with foreign and local media at his office, Dr Mahathir accused Abdullah of betraying his trust by reversing many of his decisions, going so far as to imply that he had picked the wrong person to lead Malaysia.
"It is unfortunately a common trait for me," Mahathir told reporters he had invited to the Perdana Leadership Institute. "I make a habit of choosing the wrong people perhaps... I chose him and I expected a certain degree of gratitude."
Dr Mahathir also complained that the new Government had cancelled several major projects initiated during his two decades in power, despite assurances they would be carried out after he left office.
Abdullah refused to be drawn into any towel-snapping with his predecessor despite some provocative statements by the latter recently. Yesterday was no different.
He preferred to talk about his commitment to fulfilling all promises made before the last general election.
"I want to focus on repaying the trust given by the people to the BN under my leadership," he said, noting that he had only been the Prime Minister for 2½ years.
He said the recently unveiled 9th Malaysia Plan would be the instrument for his administration to deliver on all promises contained in BN’s 2004 election manifesto.
The PM reiterated that improving the public delivery system and transforming
Malaysia into a developed country by 2020 were important goals.
Abdullah said he was touched by the support given by everyone.
"It shows that you have confidence in my leadership and it will spur me to work harder for you. At this moment I want to focus my attention and strength towards making the 9MP a success, We have all accepted 2020 as the date to reach developed nation status. we have only 14 years to go," he said.
There was no trace of stress or worry on Abdullah’s face as he toured the Taman Mesra people’s housing project here. Perhaps this was due to the overwhelming support he has received since Dr Mahathir’s attack. They came from Cabinet ministers, BN component leaders and even corporate figures.
Last night was no different. Abdullah received a standing ovation at the Dewan Yu Kuan in
Sandakan when he attended a "Perdana Menteri Bersama Rakyat" dinner.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the organisers added another 700 places outside the hall to accommodate community members who wanted to show support for Abdullah.
In his speech, Musa pledged support for and confidence in Abdullah’s stewardship of the country, saying the PM enjoyed the full support of all BN component parties. His comments were received with robust applause and cheers.
Musa: Mark of a very good leader
KUALA LUMPUR: "An elegant silence."
This was the high praise reserved by former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam for Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday.
Commenting on the Prime Minister’s handling of the sharp criticisms from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Musa described Abdullah’s choice of not responding to Dr Mahathir’s statements the previous day as a wise decision.
"It is what I call elegant silence. It is the mark of a very, very good leader," he said.
Musa also praised Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak who, although was in
India, responded immediately to Dr Mahathir’s statements by calling for the Cabinet and the people to support the Prime Minister.
This, he said, showed the unity of the two leaders, despite statements from Dr Mahathir that he had made a mistake in choosing to elevate Abdullah instead of Najib, whom he said was his first choice.
As he praised Abdullah, so did Musa criticise his former boss.
He said Dr Mahathir had been harsh in his criticism, going against "tradition and protocol" in making his comments.
"I feel heavy-hearted to comment about what Dr Mahathir said as I have not been involved in political issues or the Government for a long time. But what was said by Dr Mahathir about the leadership of the Government, of the party and the country is negative and serious," he said, adding he decided to speak up because he did not want the
situation to get out of hand.
Musa, who was Deputy Prime Minister, stepped down in February 1986 following differences of opinion with Dr Mahathir.

An open letter to Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad: Not going gentle into that
good night
WHY, Tun?
That’s what we — the products, inhabitants, stewards and legatees of the country you designed and built — need to know. Why have you become so harsh a critic of your successor’s administration?
You made them, too. They have cleaved to your vision of what this country needs to be, and they are moving forward — or at least attempting to, as best they can, given the way forward as they see it.
It wasn’t necessarily their way forward; it was yours. No one has argued with the road map you drafted for this country, nor the direction you determined, nor even with the pace you set to get where you wanted us to go.
Nothing of your legacy as prime minister has been dismantled. Such restructuring as is happening in the corporate Malaysia Inc you established — Proton and MAS in particular — is for companies in desperate trouble, needing to be re-engineered to new and more
businesslike specifications. Whether this will turn them around remains to be seen, but it needed to be done.
On the fuel price hike, your suggestion that fuel subsidies could have been maintained by allowing the exchange rate to float was, well, radical. Certainly, so was your decision to peg the ringgit to the US dollar during the Asian financial meltdown in 1998. By that time the claws of the crisis had sunk deep, and there was no lack of popular and political support for your soon-to-be famously successful move.
But the present administration, in reducing fuel subsidies, was responding to imperatives of long-term prudence, and that too has been by-and-large accepted and supported by the people. Times have changed, Tun. You should know: You changed them.
In the case of the Tebrau bridge, you seemed beside yourself with irritation. But it was precisely with respect to national sovereignty that the idea was scrapped; it’s hard to understand how you could have implied otherwise.
We know it’s a gamble, but for this term at least, the electorate have fallen behind the present administration with a greater mandate than you received even at the record-breaking height of your popularity.
But that was in 1982. For the ensuing 21 years, you charged forward with stupendous resolve, damning the torpedoes, brooking scant dissent, building this city on rock and roll.
Your successor is more graceful at the waltz, it seems — and so far the people have responded fondly enough to that, too.
How has
Malaysia changed in the first half-term of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration? It’s quieter. More circumspect. There’s more introspection at the top; a need, as much as a willingness, to listen, perhaps even more than to speak.
There’s greater inclusion, more accommodation. Necessarily in these circumstances, and yet so easily depicted as indecisiveness, there’s less unilateralism. And certainly, less of a hell-for-leather, gung-ho, we’ll-do-it-our-way charge at the future.
Yes, there’s less money sloshing around the system; there are fewer big buckets to draw from. This Government has turned away from top-down economic development through mega projects towards those grassroots sectors where but a fistful of ringgit might mean as much as thousands in other palms.
It’s a necessary attention, somewhat sidelined in your time, and quite cost-effective in terms of improving the lives of those Malaysians who could most do with it (and being recognised for it at the ballot box).
The present administration is not to be criticised for this. Which is by no means to say it is not to be criticised at all — even in the most strident, sneering or contemptuous terms, if that helps get a valid point across.
Just, please Tun, not by you. Our nation’s history should not have to deal again with the bitter irony of a revered leader leaving office honourably — indeed, covered in glory — only to henceforth speak for the far fringes of the Opposition.
It’s time to let us go, Tun. For better or worse, we owe our character as a modern nation to you. This is what we are now. This is the way we’re going. God knows, we may stumble or fall, stray off-track or derail entirely. We may reveal ourselves to be not as you had hoped but as you feared: effete, incompetent, mediocre; a polity of petty
concerns, narrow minds and limited abilities.
But we’ll struggle along as best we can, for better or worse, as who and what we are. We have to. You taught us that. It’s your choice, of course; you still have the keys to the kingdom granted you by a grateful populace for having carried them from the past to the future in a single generation. The respect accorded you will last forever; there would be no way to discredit what you did for
Malaysia without virtually negating Malaysia itself.
But you of all men should know there are only three choices for the rare few: Lead, follow, or step aside.
Spot Light: Effendi, Nazri give full support to current administration
KUALA LUMPUR: June 7 was the day several ministers hoped would never
The day when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would allow his simmering anger against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to boil over.
That was the day when the ministers had to choose between their fondness and gratitude to Mahathir and their duty of speaking out against sidelines sniping.
Those who found themselves in the most uncomfortable position were those who had served both administrations.
Effendi Norwawi.
Perhaps no one said it better than Datuk Seri Effendi Norwawi, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. "I mean no disrespect to Tun Mahathir as he was kind to me when I served in his administration, and I have great admiration for his leadership. But I make this statement with a clear conscience. I am not a member of Umno. I am an
apolitical party in this dispute," said the
Sarawak politician.
Touching on the decision to cancel the bridge to replace the Causeway, he said: "As a matter of conscience as well as matter of public interest, I feel compelled to reveal what really took place as I was there throughout the deliberations.
"I can testify that Pak Lah was very particular that all the facts were presented, scrutinised and debated thoroughly. All ministers were personally involved in the debate.
"During the course of the exhaustive debates, not once did Pak Lah make any attempt to set the tone or direction of the discussions. It was a truly collective decision with everyone deciding based on their conscience.
"The decision reached was the only logical one — there was no other choice.
Malaysia cannot take the risk of building half a bridge without a clear commitment by Singapore to build their side.
"One thing I am very certain of. The decision was never made to antagonise or offend Tun Mahathir."
Effendi said that in all the time he served under Abdullah, not once had he heard the latter run down Mahathir.
"In fact, we are constantly reminded by him never to forget the sacrifice, distinguished leadership and outstanding contribution of Tun. With Pak Lah, it is never about personal interest. And for those who know Pak Lah, it is not in his character to discredit anyone.
"I have had the honour of working with both Pak Lah and Tun Mahathir. I know both these gentlemen feel passionately about the future of the country. Both share the passion and desire for the country to prosper and move forward. In that spirit and compassion, I hope that Tun Mahathir will find it in his heart to accept that Pak Lah is trying to do his best for our country."
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Nazri never hides. He calls a spade a spade. Yesterday, he cut through all the niceties and accused Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of being mischievous in suggesting that his preferred choice of successor was Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
"I see it as an attempt to create a rift between the number one and number two. He wanted to create a rift, he knows what he is doing, and he must take responsibility for what he said."
Nazri said Mahathir should remember that when he had been attacked by former prime ministers, everyone rallied around him.
He urged the former PM to be careful of what he said because he was "no ordinary citizen".
"His comments about the Prime Minister, present Government and colleagues in the Cabinet are being taken seriously not only by us but also by the rakyat. People know that Dr Mahathir is a person who talks with facts and doesn’t simply open his mouth.
"This is the image he has created and people believe him. If ministers like me don’t respond, people may say what he is saying is right," Nazri said.

From The Star
9 June 2006
The velvet gloves come off
Comment by WONG CHUN WAI
IT has been brewing for close to a year now
. He made known his unhappiness – in his usual sardonic and sarcastic way – to a small circle of listeners that the Abdullah administration has not run the country well.
But on Wednesday, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took off his gloves to launch what the media has termed his strongest criticism against the Prime Minister.
He accused Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of dismantling many of his policies and projects, and said that Abdullah was not his first choice as his successor and that the mild-mannered politician had betrayed his trust.
These were harsh and hurtful words which shocked ordinary Malaysians, who until now had little inkling of the pent-up frustrations of the former premier.
Sharp remarks against the leadership earlier were given scant coverage, but media space grew following his recent criticism of the government's decision to scrap the Johor bridge.
Abdullah, aware of the stinging comments, had maintained his calm and refused to let himself be drawn into a verbal war. At Cabinet meetings, he told his ministers he would not do so, although at least one minister had strongly urged him to defend himself.
It may just be the most effective tactic. It has helped Abdullah maintain his dignity while at the same time, prevent an escalating fight between the two respected figures.
For Dr Mahathir, the immediate verdict among ordinary Malaysians and Umno members, is divided. Many feel he should act more like a statesman and let his handpicked successor carry on the job of running the country, while there are those, especially businessmen, who have compared his legacy to that of Abdullah.
Some business and political groups claimed he had stronger economic fundamentals and that
Malaysia was falling behind in the region. Last week, Abdullah pointed out that Malaysia had done well and improved its competitiveness rating, calling for faster implementation of the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
With the open fallout between Dr Mahathir and Abdullah, the question now is where does it go from here?
Dr Mahathir, at 81, is still robust and out-spoken. No one can stop him from speaking out as he has done all these years, no matter how irritating it may be to the powers that be.
We have all applauded him many times as the spokesman for the
Third World, for his tough words against the United States. No one should be surprised if he does the same for domestic issues. That is the Dr M that we know and love. Nothing will change.
For Malaysian journalists, the first blow against Abdullah came on
Aug 8, 2005, during a private dinner with 10 senior editors to celebrate his 80th birthday.
It was arranged by a prominent businessman, among others, for me to patch up with Dr Mahathir following his unhappiness with me.
May 30, 2005, he had called a press conference to tick me off for my comments that during his 22 years tenure, he could have done more to combat graft.
At the same press conference, where he spoke on the Approved Permit (AP) issue of importing cars against Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, Dr Mahathir said he wished he could have done more, such as carrying out anti-corruption campaigns. He also expressed disappointment with my article.
We patched up all right but during the dinner that lasted over two hours, he startled, if not shocked us, with his no-holds barred comments against Abdullah. Journalists, as the saying goes, are witnesses to history.
What he said affected us so much that we compared notes as he left, to make sure we got our quotes right so that we could include them in our memoirs.
With over 10 people present, there could never be a secret and word went out on what Dr Mahathir had said.
Later, the press was to witness similar expressions of unhappiness from Dr Mahathir.
One sore point with the former premier was allegations that he had used up money for mega projects and that the country had no more money. He would always rattle off figures to argue his case.
“The Government has lots of money and Putrajaya is built largely from Petronas funds. Petronas made a profit of RM50bil last year and this year it made RM83bil and spent RM13bil to subsidise petrol prices of the public,” he said on Wednesday.

“It still has about RM70bil. It will pay tax of RM30bil and have RM40bil left. Petronas must give, as it belongs to the Government. So to say the previous government has spent all the money is not supported by facts.”
What has happened on Wednesday has been deja vu for older Malaysians.
Dr Mahathir was sacked from Umno in 1969 for his criticism of Tunku
Abdul Rahman. When Dr Mahathir was prime minister, the Tunku
campaigned for Parti Melayu Semangat 46 against Dr Mahathir during the
Writing in his As I See It column, the Tunku was critical of what Dr Mahathir did and it must have disturbed Dr Mahathir, who would probably have seen it as interference from a retired prime minister.
Unfortunately, history has repeated itself. This time, it has become more complicated because Dr Mahathir has a larger than life image for many Malaysians as he had been the only Prime Minister they had known for a long time.
It will not be easy, even unfair, for anyone to compare Abdullah’s three years against Dr Mahathir’s 22 years of leadership. It will be something Pak Lah has to live with.
But Pak Lah has incumbency on his side. Pledges of support from Barisan Nasional and Umno leaders have been immediate and are surely a boost to his firm grip of the coalition and party.
Just in case anyone missed a remark by the Prime Minister on Tuesday, he said he has been given the tag of Mr Nice Guy. But not anymore and that’s a loaded remark!
Has Dr M gone too far this time?
Analysis by JOCELINE TAN
IT LOOKS like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has decided to burn his bridges.The former premier's latest comments about the Abdullah administration, or more specifically, about his successor seem to suggest he has reached a sort of political point-of-no-return.
He not only lashed out at the policies of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, but has gone as far as to declare that Abdullah was not his first choice.
Abdullah, he said, was actually his second choice.
His statement was staggering and sent shock waves through a good number of Malaysians, particularly through the rank and file of Umno. Some think it was not an uncontrolled outburst but a calculated statement aimed at pushing his dissatisfaction with the affairs of state to another level.
He was so cool at the press conference that gave rise to yesterday's stunning headlines, looking polished in a steel-grey bush suit and with not a hair out of place.
Dr Mahathir has done press interviews so many times that there is no question he is not ready for. And he fielded every question so matter-of-factly that it took a few seconds for the gravity of his words to sink in for some of the journalists present.
He was probably well aware of the implications of coming out so aggressively and directly against Abdullah and his administration. He was, after all, in power for 22 years.
But the power of incumbency, as former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam once said, should never be underestimated.
As expected, Cabinet members, state leaders and Umno leaders have rallied behind the Prime Minister, declaring their loyalty to him and defending him and his policies.
One of those who have come out strongly for Abdullah has been Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is currently on an official visit to
The pressure was on Najib to take the lead in showing his support for the Prime Minister, but as one of his aides said, “he would have done it even if he wasn't asked”.
“The DPM's stand is clear – undivided loyalty to the PM and respect for the former PM. Pak Lah leads the government of the day while Dr Mahathir has done big things for which we are grateful,” said Razak Baginda who heads a think-tank linked to Najib.
But generally, many of those who are part of the Government today are highly uncomfortable with the way Dr Mahathir has forced the issue.
Many of them owe their upward career path to him but they also owe where they are today to Abdullah who has his own style and set of priorities.
They admit Dr Mahathir has the right to air his views, but in a constructive way and in the manner of an elder statesman.
Some feel his remarks about his successor have been more akin to that of the political opposition. His views, they feel, have also grown increasingly personal and cutting.
What he said on Wednesday was perhaps the deepest cut.
It amounted to disowning his choice of successor and was as good as a severing of ties.
But can one disown one's own decision without casting some aspersions on oneself?
Does the admission of a poor decision also not reflect on the decision-maker?
And as many have pointed out, he chose Abdullah but since then, Abdullah has gone on to secure a convincing mandate of his own from the people.
They feel Dr Mahathir does not seem to acknowledge this important factor in his verdict on the present Government.
Some think Dr Mahathir is trying to provoke a reaction from Abdullah. Abdullah is unlikely to react in haste.
From day one, he has not said anything, partly out of respect for his predecessor and partly because it is not in his nature to fight a war of words.
But those close to him said that Dr Mahathir had simply reached the end of his tether and the cancellation of the bridge project in Johor was the proverbial last straw.
“You people have no idea how strongly he felt about
Singapore and the bridge. Tun feels that since he can no longer canvass for votes from the Umno leadership, he will do it through the masses who read the news,'' said a Mahathir loyalist.
Malaysians knew that Dr Mahathir would be a tough act to follow and pity the man who has to fill his shoes. And not many expected him to let go completely, knowing his indomitable will and sheer force of personality.
But few thought that he would take on his successor and the Government this way. Is it possible he has gone too far this time?
Retire with dignity, Karpal tells Dr Mahathir
KUALA LUMPUR: Ride into the sunset with grace and dignity. This is the advice of DAP chairman Karpal Singh to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Karpal Singh said it did not bode well for the elder statesman to publicly voice his grouses against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“Dr Mahathir must accept that his time was up when he passed the baton of leadership to Abdullah. There is no turning back,” said Karpal Singh in a statement.
“During his tenure as PM, Dr Mahathir was known to attract controversy to the extent of hitting out at leaders of other countries. He should understand that he cannot do that now,” he said.
He also said Dr Mahathir's choice of Abdullah over Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should have remained something close to his chest, particularly so when he himself was chosen by Tun Hussein Onn as Deputy Prime Minister over other capable leaders.
If Dr Mahathir had intended to be actively involved politics he should have remained in the government as a senior minister – as in the case of Lee Kuan Yew, who had vowed to remain in the
Singapore government as long as he could, said Karpal Singh.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the time had come for Abdullah to stand up to Dr Mahathir and show that he stands for political equality, socio-economic justice and an all-out campaign against corruption.

Friday, June 09, 2006

More Pics - US$25 Million Bounty - ABU MUSAB al_ZARQAWI – the AL Qaeda LEADER in IRAQ was ELIMINATED; a MAJOR COUP for coalition forces

Existence is larger than life or death. Life and death are both states of existence.
An identity exists whether it is in the state of life or in the state of death

The choice of life and death is always yours. The integrity of the self and the soul exists beyond the possibility of annihilation, as you yourself will continue to exist regardless of which path you choose to take.You have lived before, and will again, and your new life, in your terms, springs out of the old, and is growing in the old and contained within it as the seed is already contained within the flower. A death is just a night to your soul

But there is never any justification for violence.
There is no justification for hatred.
There is no justification for murder.

The reaction in anger can be the most arousing and therapeutic emotion under these circumstances.

Those who indulge in violence for whatever reason are themselves changed, and the purity of their purpose adultered.

In our society, the natural communication of aggression has broken down. We have confused violence with aggression and restrain the communicative elements of aggression while ignoring its many positive values, until its natural power becomes dammed up, naturally exploding into violence. Violence is therefore a distortion of aggression.

The following is an account of the air Strike by CNN

Al Qaeda n Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the coalition's most wanted man in Iraq, was killed in an air strike near Baquba, jubilant U.S. and Iraqi authorities announced Thursday.

Al-Zarqawi's death gives Iraq a chance to "turn the tide" in the fight against the nation's insurgency, President Bush said at the White House.

"The ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders," Bush said. "Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda." "Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq," Bush said. "Now Zarqawi has met his end and this violent man will never murder again."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said al-Zarqawi's death will have "worldwide" effects. "Let there be no doubt the fact that he is dead is a significant victory in the battle against terrorism in that country, and I would say worldwide because he had interests well outside of Iraq."

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell detailed the strike, saying two Air Force F-16s dropped two 500-pound bombs on a safe house near Baquba on Wednesday night.
Six people including al-Zarqawi and a key lieutenant, spiritual adviser Sheik Abd-al-Rahman, were killed in the strike, the military said. Iraqi forces were the first to arrive at the scene, Caldwell said.

Right on target, satellite photo

"Zarqawi's body was then removed, brought back to a secure location," Caldwell said. "By visual identification it was established that that probably was him.
"But they ... did further examination of his body, found more scars and tattoos consistent with what had been reported and what we knew about him. They then did a fingerprint identification, and that came back ... this morning as positively identified as Zarqawi having been killed."

"We have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Zarqawi was in the house," Caldwell said. "It was 100 percent identification." Even so, DNA testing will be conducted, he said.

During a jubilant announcement early Thursday in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi officials first revealed the news to reporters.

The 3-year-old insurgency has "lost its leader," said U.S. Gen. George Casey, the highest-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq. Casey was joined during the announcement by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
A Web site used by Al Qaeda in Iraq confirmed al-Zarqawi's death and urged its followers to continue the insurgent fight.

Another Web site used by the group issued a statement: "People of Islam, God will not let our enemies celebrate and spread corruption in the ground. Expect the right that was stolen to come back to us and destroy the Crusaders" -- an apparent reference to U.S. troops in Iraq.

In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair called al-Zarqawi's death "a very important moment in Iraq. A blow for al Qaeda in Iraq is a blow for al Qaeda everywhere."
Al-Zarqawi was the self-proclaimed leader of one of the nation's many insurgent factions -- al Qaeda in Iraq --who pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden.

He had a $25 million bounty on his head, led foreign and Iraqi fighters in a series of dramatic and high-profile attacks against U.S. and Western targets and was seen as leader of one of the factions in Iraq that fomented sectarian strife between the Sunni and Shiite communities.

His killing is a major coup for the embattled coalition forces.
"Today is a good day," U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Khalilzad said at the news conference. Zarqawi has been killed."
Khalilzad called al-Zarqawi "the godfather of sectarian killing and terror in Iraq" -- and said the death "marks a great success for Iraq and the global war on terror."

"His organization has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in Iraq and abroad."
Al-Maliki indicated that the strike on al-Zarqawi was the "result of cooperation" with ordinary Iraqis, saying that authorities many times have asked the citizenry to provide information.

"This is a message to all those who take violence as a path."
Khalilzad said the demise of al-Zarqawi won't end the violence in Iraq, but it is "an important step in the right direction."
The 39-year-old Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi was accused of terrorist links before the Iraq war and soon led the insurgency after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. Multiple attempts have been made to capture or kill him and he was held briefly by Iraqi security forces in 2004 but was released because no one knew who he was.

read aslo STAR's U.S. air strike kills al Qaeda's Zarqawi in Iraq (no new photo) from Reuters and
NST's Zarqawi death hailed as boost for Iraq peace hopes which got an intersting closed up death photo

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Malaysiankini Headlines on his outburst
Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is taking every opportunity to vent his frustration and his sense of “powerlessness” after being in the helm of power for so long. In the days gone by, he could have snapped his fingers, and things started to move. Nowadays all he can do is shouting and make noise. So in a press conference to announce the 'Perdana Global Peace Forum - The Middle East Agenda' on June 22 he again used the occasion to make some scathing remarks against the present leadership of PM Ahmad Abdullah.
Tun Dr Mahathir should keep his big mouth shut and let the present PM to carry on with his vision. It's not proper for the former PM to comment on the present PM.
During his time, he had his way and dominated in the entire decision making process. His ministers then out of deference to him as a leader kept the distance and respect his views and became “yes” men. Now that he is out of the way, they too would like to do things in their own way and in the process would be seen to be helping their own “gang” and cronies. This in a way is a trapping of power.

The following is a gist of the Q & A after the short press conference.
Question: Can you describe your relationship with the present government?
Mahathir: Well, when I decided to step down, I gave an undertaking that I will not involve myself in politics that I would not interfere with the government. On the other hand, of course, there were certain things promised that should be done by the incoming government, but the incoming government not only did not do what was promised, but in fact, the incoming government reversed many of the decisions made while the leader in the incoming government was in still in the (previous) government.
There were no objections, and we agreed fully with all the proposals. And I had (the promise) that they would be carried out. I understand, of course, that new leaders want to make an impact and make their mark during their period in power. But what was undertaken before should be carried out – new things can be introduced.
So the decision not to keep to the promises was not mine. I tolerated this for as much as possible including the charge that I finished all of the government's money, that the government was bankrupt and couldn't have any more projects.
I kept quiet but when something that is done that is really harmful, I think I would be failing my duty as an ordinary citizen and as ex-PM if I don't direct attention to these matters. As I said, I was not the one who first broke the promise [...] of course, I made my undertaking publicly, the leader of the new government did not, but the fact is that promises had been made on both sides.
So if I have to comment, I think I have the right to comment. Presently, I support the government, but if they do what I consider to be wrong and nobody seems to be able to voice their opposition than I will have to stick my neck out. Sticking my neck out is very familiar with me. I've done it many times within the country and outside. So I will again stick my neck out for it to be chopped.
Are you regretting that you quit?
No, one cannot tell exactly what a person would do after he is out of your control. So I thought I made a good choice. I wouldn't know if I had picked somebody else, these things would not happen. If I choose someone else, also it might very well happen.
But I feel I have a duty to point out wrong things being done. Like Singapore must approve what we do in our territory - that I can't accept. Abuse of APs (approved permits), selling something we bought for 500 million dollars and selling (it) for RM4. These things are wrong but nobody seems to be able to say anything on these things. I don't know why.
Your biggest blunder?
I have made many blunders in my career. I have helped many people up only for them to stab me in the back. So, it is a common trait for me. I'm in the habit of choosing the wrong people. But the present government can do a good job if they want to. The means are there but if they come under the influence of people who have other agendas, then I can't help.
Who are you referring to?
It is up to the press to know. You know more than I do.
During your time, the media was controlled and constrained?
During my time, the press was quite free. I admit there were certain restrictions because we live in a multiracial society where there are a lot of sensitivities. So we tell them, don't stir racial hatred or we'll take action against them. You must remember many newspapers printed in the country have not complained to me about being censored.
If you read, Harakah and Rocket condemn me all the time - they break the law as distribution was for members. I did not act on them as they do not stir racial hatred. We don't just do it just because they say my nose is big – it’s alright. Lat makes cartoon of me all the time, I never objected. (The) vernacular press also condemned me. The present government now says I shouldn't say anything and the foreign press appears to agree - it's
Do you think Pak Lah has back stabbed you?
Minor bruises, like saying I finished all their money when I know very well that the country has never been as rich as it is now. Having chosen him as my successor - in fact, he was not the first choice, he was second as he didn't have the highest vote. Najib (Abdul Razak) had. I chose him and I expect a degree of gratefulness. But I was told that I had been involved in mega-projects and finished the money. Nobody has the money now...
Are you engineering the early departure of the PM?
No, I'm not capable of that but when he does the right thing, I have nothing to say or support him but if he does the wrong thing and undermines national interests then I will have my say.
Are you trying to have him replaced?
I can't have him removed, it is for his own party to remove him, for Umno to remove him. I'm not helping or going around campaigning and tell people, Please remove this man'. But I'm supportive of Umno, my party.
Are you confident of the present administration?
If he keeps on doing the wrong things I cannot be confident so I'll keep watching. But it must be something substantial before I pass my comments.Simple things like people do, like getting contracts, I will not say anything
Has corruption increase after you retired?
Some people think there is more now than before, I don't have the statistics on corruption during my time, nor that of now.
Putrajaya is not developing after you've retired.
The government claims it has no money to continue concessions. That's what they say to stop many projects in Putrajaya. They have stopped the mosque, the monorail has been shelved because the government has no money. My contention is the government has lots of money and Putrajaya is built largely from Petronas funds. Petronas made a profit of RM50 billion last year and this year of RM80 billion. Petronas has a lot of money. Petronas can build if you want them to. Of course, it is 100 percent owned by the government and pays taxes of RM53 billion to the government. This year, Petronas made 83 billion and spent 13 billion to subsidise petrol prices of the public and it still has about RM70 billion, of which it will pay tax of RM30 billion and still have RM40 billion, and if the government wants, Petronas must give as it belongs to government. So to say the previous government has spent all the money is not supported by facts.
(What about) Petronas financial report?
They will soon publishing, I believe. That's what I'm told. A lot of people are complaining that the economy is not moving at the same rate as before?
But the figures show otherwise. So I'm glad for the people who say it is moving. We need to have a breakdown of figures to see if we are looking at the wrong indicators. I know, for example, the construction and retail sector not moving like before. This may not affect their figures. Modern accounting is subject to many modifications. You can show a set of figures in many ways. I know some companies have changed their accounting system to show profits.
Do you watch the World Cup?
I don't watch football; I have a lot of other things to do. Even badminton,
I ask my wife to watch and she tells me if they win. If they lose, don't
tell me or I cannot sleep. I have always said it is silly for 22 people to
chase one ball - (go) buy (them) one each

Read today's NST- Dr M: Hits out again
update: and the latest Bernama despath
PM Declines To Comment On Criticisms By Mahathir, June 08, 2006 20:40 PM
update2: Check also this
UMNO information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Taib: Mahathir's Decisions Bring Hardships To People from e-Sin Chew Newspaper (in English)

To see more pics of killed Al Qaeda leader and an understanding of Existence, Life, death click here
Update 3: See latest posting: REACTIONS TO MAHATHIR's OUTBURTS ..Long read)
Update 4: See Bernama's Full Text Interview with Tun Musa Hitam
Update 5: See also Dr M: WHY NO ANSWERS?
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