Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dilemma Senior Lee faces - Singapore Ready to Work, but Malaysia is Not – Win-Win opportunities are Sound & Logic but difficult even to take off

ABOVE: The "logic is still sound" sounds like the "Spirit is willing but the flesh is not" or "The Vodka is willing but the body is not"

The timing of this announcement is superb, just before the kick-off to the 12th Malaysian GE. It might boast Abdullah image and gain him some votes if he can respond appropriately.

& Malaysia have many opportunities for a win-win relationship and this should not be left out. And the senior Lee believes the logic is still sound. But the relationship in the post Mahathir era under PM Ahmad Badawi is still treading on very cautious grounds. In the latest outburst from Mahathir he has in an interview with a selected media stated that he disagrees “on several of his policies, mainly allowing Malaysians to be subject to Singapore's wishes”. That is why the Senior MM Lee has clearly stated “If Singapore pushes this, it will be counterproductive”. This means they cannot have the upper hands and dictate the terms.

On the other hand, the implementers of the IDR would want to “grab all” in taking the lion share especially can be seen by the Bumiputra Malay Contractors Association who would not want to “miss the boat” so to speak. But in getting into the boat, Samy Vellu can vouched they cause a lot of problems in “leakages” – cost over-run, abandoned projects, uncompleted projects, delayed projects and in case of completed ones – shoddy workmanship with “pipes bursting & roof leaking”. The outcry from them in not getting the gravy train from the recent Ipoh-Padang Besar electrified double-tracking railway project awarded to Gamuda-MMC is another typical example.(see Bottom, how the problem is resolved with Government "intervention"). They want to have a share but unable to deliver the goods in the end – only the promises stated in the signed contracts.

So Senior Lee Kuan Yew is sending the correct signals, but if there is no change in the mindset and following what Mahathir proposes “calling the shots”, and then this so called win-win co-operation would be just a win-fail result. The antipathy attitude, the false superiority complex and the smart thinking of “who needs who more” attitude would made this Malaysia-Singapore relationship even difficult to take off.

= == = == = == = ==

Extracts from what the Senior Lee says

“This is the signal we want to send out to the Malaysian leaders & Malaysian people. We are ready to work. But so will you, in the end you can go more than we can, because you have critical mass.

For this to happen,
Malaysia must believe it is really win-win . That Spore will gain, but so will Kuala Lumpur and Johore, Johor Baru and Malaysia
Who gains more is left to history to decide. And is a secondary matter. It needs a mindset change from competition, antipathy for
Singapore to co-operation and acceptance of Singapore. If Singapore pushes this, it will be counterproductive"

= == = = == =

February 01, 2008 23:42 PM

Singapore Ready To Work With Malaysia : Kuan Yew

SINGAPORE, Feb 1 (Bernama) -- Former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew said the island republic is ready to work with Malaysian leaders to move forward together. He said the two countries would benefit from their closer ties and cooperation although Malaysia would gain more than its neighbour in the long term. Lee, who now holds the post of Minister Mentor, made this point at Singapore's Institute of Policy Studies conference here, according to the Singapore-based Asian news television network, Channel News Asia tonight.

Lee was asked whether Singapore needed to have a hinterland, which is Malaysia, in order to grow into a global city, during the conference today.

ABOVE & BELOW: PM Abdullah at the launch of the IDR many moons ago and is now struggling to take-off
Citing Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's proposal of the Iskandar Development Region (IDR)as a move in the right direction, Lee said Singapore would do what it could to make the IDR succeed. In this way, Lee said both countries could get maximum value out of the cooperation.
Lee said
Singapore welcomed the win-win possibility of having a faster rail and air travel between Singapore and Malaysia after a previous proposal for a fast rail system between them had yet to materialise. He said initially Singapore would gain a little more because the city-state was more connected to the outside world. But in the long term, Malaysia would make the bigger gain because of its larger capital(?????????) mass and bigger human resource pool, Lee said.

====from the source

MM Lee says S'pore and Malaysia will benefit from closer connectivity

By May Wong, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 01 February 2008 1905 hrs

SINGAPORE : Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said Singapore and Malaysia will benefit from closer connectivity and collaboration. In fact, he believe Malaysia will stand to gain even more than Singapore in the long run. Mr Lee made this point while elaborating on a comment he had made at an Institute of Policy Studies conference on Friday morning. At that conference, Mr Lee was asked whether Singapore needs to have a hinterland, which is Malaysia, in order to grow into a global city.

Later Mr Lee told reporters on the sidelines that he wants Malaysian leaders to know that Singapore is ready to work with them to grow together. And Malaysia should view Singapore in the spirit of cooperation and acceptance instead of competition and antipathy.
Citing Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's proposal of the Iskandar Development Region, or IDR, as a move in the right direction, Mr Lee said
Singapore will do what it can to make the IDR succeed. In this way, both countries can get maximum value out of the cooperation.

ABOVE & BELOW: the only signs of some co-operation is the limited cheap airways by Air Asia & Tiger Airways started only recently

Another win-win possibility is faster rail and air travel between Singapore and Malaysia. Although a previous proposal for a fast rail system between them has yet to materialise, Mr Lee said Singapore welcomes it. Malaysia too, he said, must believe it would definitely be a win-win situation. In the immediate phase of closer connectivity, Mr Lee said Singapore will gain a little more because the city state is more connected to the outside world. But in the long term, Malaysia will make the bigger gain because of its larger capital mass and bigger human resource pool. - CNA/ch

= = == = == =and other critical problems facing the "red dot" in Singapore & views from MM Lee

MM Lee 'not quite sold' on idea of 6.5 million population
By Li Xueying

MINISTER Mentor Lee Kuan Yew 'has not quite been sold' on the idea of a 6.5 million population size in Singapore. Instead, he projects for Singapore an optimum population size of five to 5.5 million for Singapore.
He said on Friday: 'I have not quite been sold on the idea that we should have 6.5 million.' 'I think there's an optimum size for the land that we have, to preserve the open spaces and the sense of comfort.'
MM Lee was speaking at think-tank Institute of Policy Studies' conference 'Scenarios for the Next Generation', which seeks to gaze into the crystal ball and discuss what Singapore will look like come 2030. Speakers, including Cabinet ministers, academics and journalists, held forth on subjects such as how the economy should evolve, cultural trends, and the
Singapore identity. Over an hour-long dialogue with some 900 participants, MM Lee touched on issues ranging from whether Singapore has the talent pool to sustain a two-party political system, to the widening income divide. One question, posed by the moderator, diplomat Tommy Koh, was whether Singapore is guilty of overbuilding.

A year ago, the Government had announced that it is making plans to accommodate a population of 6.5 million people - up from the current 4.5 million - in the next 40 to 50 years. This sparked off worries about overcrowding.

= == == = = == = == Can Singapore understand and handle this kind of forced "handouts" to these companies? At the end of the day who would pick up the tabs for their inability to complete a job with a lot of excuses?

Double-tracking project a boon for bumiputra contractors

by Husna Yusop

PUTRAJAYA (Feb 4, 2008): The Gamuda-MMC consortium undertaking the Ipoh-Padang Besar electrified double-tracking railway project will award almost 30% or RM3.7 billion of the RM12.5 billion job to bumiputra contractors and suppliers. It has also identified 335 work packages, including for bridges, tracks, drainage, buildings, stations, utility distribution and landscaping, to be awarded in stages from this month. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said today that the consortium, which had identified 180 Classes A to D contracators to take part in the limited tender project, will offer 62 work packages to Class A contractors and 69 to Classes B and C jobbers.

“I would like to urge those of you who received the Letters of Award (LOA) today and the contractors to be appointed later to prove your capability. Should you fail, you will be sacked from the job. This is important as we do not want the failure of a small group of contractors to result in a delay in the implementation of the project which has been fixed at five years. Delay and failure is not an option,” he said at his office. Najib, who chairs the Cabinet Committee on Public Transport, presented LOA to 24 bumiputra contractors -- for various works worth more than RM400 million -- and 10 engineering consultants. Present were Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohd Yaakob, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Sri Mohd Effendi Norwawi.

Najib said the bumiputra contractors, suppliers and consultants were chosen based on merit with three main criteria, namely genuineness and hands-on; technically and financial capability; and competitive prices. To ensure continuity, he said, the government will consider giving out more jobs to contractors with high performance ranking. He said MMC and Gamuda had assured the government they would pay the sub-contractors for work done within 30 days.

Apart from creating some 105,000 jobs, Najib said the project would boost Malaysia’s growth from 6% (9th Malaysia Plan’s target without the project) to 6.4%. State-wise, Perak will experience a growth rate of 8.1% now compared to 5.7% before the implementation of the project, Penang 6.8% from 6.1% before, Kedah 8.7% from 5.9% before and Perlis 12% from 5.3% before.

Friday, February 01, 2008

DAY 79,80,81 & 82 – Altantuya Murder Trial - Celcom Expert Haizal tracked & traced Calls by Azilah between Oct 19–20 - Murder Scene, to & fro journeys

ABOVE: A combi Photo of the murdered Mongolian translator Altantua Sharriibu and BELOW: The burnt out spot in Puchak Alam 3 weeks after the C4 Blast on her Body
== = == = == == = == = == = == = == ==
ABOVE: The trial Court
For more than a week, this Celcom expert with more than eight years of experience finally might have put the nails in the coffins of the accused as he confidently told the Trial Court on Day 79 to 82 how the calls are easily traced from the records of the various transmission cell stations and confirmed there is no possibility of mistakes. He could provide details of the calls made by the first accused Azilah (ABOVE; Mobile No: 019-3636153 to the other two accused including during the journey to and fro from Bukit Aman to the murder scene. Other calls made by him in the days just before the murder were also well documented.
ABOVE: Azilah Hadri and BELOW: Sirul Azhar
Now what will the defense team do to discredit these call transactions? Earlier on, when more junior officers from Celcom testified they were accused of fabricating the data, lying and so on - the usual lawyer’s tactics to cast doubts on evidence which must be “beyond reasonable doubts” in all murder cases.
ABOVE: the first & Second accused and BELOW: The Third accused (Razak Baginda) as seen on Day 72 Trial on Jan 03 08
= = == == = == = ==

Celcom expert says zooming in on location of handphones possible

DAY 79; Maria J.Dass; theSUN

SHAH ALAM (Jan 21, 2008, Monday): The indication that a call had been made or received from a particular location can be determined by the Location Area Code (LAC) and Service Area Code (SAC) for 3G phones, and the LAC and Cell ID for 2G phones.
Celcom (M) Bhd technical specialist Haizal Hambali, 32, said the information derived from the LAC, Cell ID and SAC helps to zoom in on a particular site or location from which a call had been made or received.
It was today the 79th Day of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder hearing which had for the past month been scrutinising the call details record (CDR) of a prepaid phone used by first accused C/Insp Azilah Hadri.
The record contains the call transactions, LAC and Cell ID information pertaining the number 019-3636153.

Haizal, the trial's 63rd witness, said the LAC, Cell ID and SAC actually indicate the location and identities of the transmitting stations which sends out signals.
"These signals capture the location from which a transaction had been made or received by a phone user," he told the court.
The LAC specifically indicates a location, Cell ID as the name suggests - the identity of a cell while the SAC indicates the exact location of a transmitting station, Haizal said.
"It all depends on the strongest signal received by a phone or other terminals like data card for internet usage," he said.
Explaining how the system works Haizal said, the SAC and Cell ID are actually a subset of the LAC.
One LAC may have three different Cell IDs or SACs, and a combination of these two (LAC and cell ID or LAC and SAC) can be used to determine the location of a transmitting station, he added.

Haizal said no two areas share the same LAC.
"We also use a system whereby each SAC is unique to a particular transmitting station," he said.He said the codes for LAC, SAC and Cell IDs are different.
"The 3G LAC is four digits, SAC is five digits, while for the Cell ID it is between one to five digits," said Haizal. Hearing continues on Thursday (Jan 24).after Thaipusam Holiday on Jan 23

= == = == = == ==

Tuesday January 22, 2008; STAR
DAY 79
Technician tells how calls traced

SHAH ALAM: A Celcom technician explained how a caller was traced through the handphone number used in making the call. Haizal Hambali, 32, said the caller could be traced from the transmission station through the Service Area Code (SAC), Location Code (LAC) and Cell ID Code. The code for a particular area was different from another, he said.
Replying to Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, the 63rd prosecution witness, said: “LAC constitutes a big area while Cell ID is a subset, namely a cell in a LAC.”

Tun Majid:(ABOVE) “Can you give an example by referring to an area?”

Haizal: “The LAC for 3G in Kuala Lumpur is 1011. In the LAC, there are several transmission stations and each uses the same LAC but each also has its own SAC. For 2G, the LAC is 11001 and in the LAC, there are several cells.”
Tun Majid: “So, to identify an area, for example
Kuala Lumpur, the Cell ID or SAC is more specific and focused on an area in the LAC?”
Haizal: “Yes.”
Tun Majid: “Is a value used for one or several areas?

Haizal: “1011 is used for only one area.”
Tun Majid: “So, no two areas use the same LAC?”

Haizal: “No.”
He added that Celcom used a system where each SAC was for one transmission station and if there were three transmission stations in an LAC, each station would have a different SAC value.

Haizal said that to trace a caller, he had to have the LAC and the Cell ID or SAC to identify the location of the transmission station.
Before Haizal took the witness stand, Celcom’s information technology analyst Syed Mustaqim Syed Yusoff, 27, said he did not lie in court and did not create the Cell ID and LAC.

The trial before Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin continues on Thursday.
= == == = == = == == =

Expert explains how cellphone calls are tracked; Maria J. Dass the SUN

DAY 80

SHAH ALAM (Jan 24, 2008): Celcom (M) Bhd technical specialist Haizal Hambali told the court today how he prepared a coverage prediction document which shows the serving stations along the route from Bukit Aman to Kota Damansara.
He said that on June 16 last year, he had accompanied investigating officers DSP Gan Teck Guan and ASP Tonny Lunggan on a site visit to identify the various Celcom transmitting stations along the way.

Haizall said the site visit started at Bukit Damansara and on to Bangsar, Bukit Aman, Kota Damasara through Jalan Duta, through the North-South Highway (PLUS), the North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and out through the Kota Damansara toll.
"We then headed to Puncak Alam via the old road and turned into Puncak Alam from which I was then taken to the crime scene before heading back to
Kuala Lumpur," he said.
Haizall said that he had identified the physical location of the transmitting stations along the route using a drive measurement tool.
The tool was used to determine the serving stations whenever a call was made via a test number along the route.

Haizal said he based his coverage prediction on the call details record for phone number 019-3636153 which was used by first accused C/Insp Azilah Hadri which he had obtained from Syed Mustaqim, and the data obtained from the drive management tool.
Haizal said his tests began at the entrance of Bukit Aman. He said his next destination was near Bukit Damansara where he made a test call from a lane which is said to be near on Razak’s house, adding that the serving sites here were Plaza Damansara and Masjid Saidina Omar.
To questions by DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah before lunch, Haizal said changes to a Location Area Code (LAC) due to the introduction of a new transmission tower for instance will not alter site name.
Tun Abdul Majid had asked whether there would be any changes to the sites mentioned in the raw data tendered in court if it were analysed today.
"No, as the location from which a person made or received a call would be the same as this will be based on the Cell ID." Haizal said.

Haizall earlier told the court that he had used the parameter data for Nov 17 to 18, 2006, to extract information on the location and site name for two Celcom numbers between Oct 16 and 21, 2006, as this would give a more accurate picture. (Parameters refers to a combination of LAC, Cell ID and site name for 2G phones, and LAC, Service Area Code (SAC) and Cell ID). Haizal said the parameters can change. He explained that for 2G and 3G numbers there were only a few paramenters which could be changed from time to time - these were the switch and LAC.
However the Cell ID would be the same for 2G phones.
As for 3G phones the data in the raw data which could change is the LAC, but the switch and LAC would remain the same, he added.
Earlier in the morning, Haizal testified that he had received an email from his colleague Syed Mustaquim in which he was asked to do mapping based on some transmission station data given by Syed Mustaqim.
He said he drew up two new columns with information on site names and regions which he added to the raw date which Syed Mustaqim had given him.
"The new data on the site name and region in the two columns, I obtained via the Cell ID and LAC information for 2G phones in the raw data, while the information for 3G phones I obtained by using the LAC and SAC information form the raw data," said Haizal.
"After I had completed this process I changed the LAC and Call ID column titles as this were not in tandem with the naming convention system which is in use," he said.According to convention, the column six should show the Call ID details while column seven should show LAC details, said Haizal.
Haizal is the 63rd witness to testify on the 80th day of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder hearing which continues next Wednesday (Jan 30
= == = = ==DAY 81

Azilah's phone number traced to murder scene

Maria J. Dass; theSUN

SHAH ALAM (Jan 30, 2008): The transactions of the 019-3636153 phone number used by first accused C/Insp Azilah Hadri was traced from Bukit Aman to the surrounding areas of Puncak Alam - where the remains of a woman were recovered - between 8pm and midnight of Oct 19, 2006, the High Court heard today.Celcom (M) Bhd technical specialist Haizal Hambali, 32, who had prepared a coverage prediction document which identifies the transmission stations along the route between Bukit Aman and Puncak Alam testified on the call transactions of Azilah starting from 8.42pm on the night of Oct 19.

(Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu is believed to have been murdered between 10.30pm on Oct 19, 2006, and 1am on Oct 20 in the Puncak Alam catchment area.)
The transaction records show Azilah’s journey starting in Bukit Aman which was recorded by the Jalan Parliament transmission station. This was followed by a transaction record at the TM Damasara station near Bukit Damansara, Bangsar Mall station in Bangsar, the TM Duta station (located between Jalan Duta and the North South Highway), the Sapura Tower station between Jalan Mahameru and Jalan Duta, the Jalan Duta toll transmission station at the entrance of the North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and the NKVE (The Rock) station.
Another two transactions were recorded by the Section 4 Kota Damasara transmission station near the NKVE toll exit at
10.02pm and 10.03pm.
Following this, another transaction was made at
10.19pm and this was recorded by the Kampung Melayu Subang station.The records show another phone transaction from the Celcom line used by Azilah at the Kota Damansara toll exit at 11.52pm on the night of Oct 19. This transaction was recorded by the KM19 NKVE transmission station.
This followed two other transactions - one made at
11.40pm captured by the U3 SA (Section U3, Shah Alam) transmission station and another at 11.48pm captured by the Section 4 Kota Damansara transmission station. Last week Haizal, the 63 witness testifying on the 81st day of the murder hearing, had told the court he prepared the document after he had accompanied investigating officers DSP Gan Tack Guan and ASP Tonny Lunggan on a drive along the route which was based on the data shown in the Call Details Record of the Celcom prepaid phone line used by Azilah.
Haizal said he had used a drive measurement tool to record all the data which he obtained using a test number last June 16.

= == = ==DAY 82

Expert: No possibility of mistakes

Maria J.Dass; the SUN
SHAH ALAM: Celcom (M) Bhd technical specialist Haizal Hambali, 32, said there is no possibility of mistakes in the Celcom coverage report. Haizal is the prosecution’s 63rd witness in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial which is into its 82nd day of hering today.
Questioned by DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, Haizal said during the time he has been working with the Celcom mobile access planning department, he has not experienced or known of any mistakes on the coverage data. He testified earlier that he had been attached to the telecommunications company for eight years.
Tun Abdul Majid: (This could) not possibly happen?

Haizal: Possibly not.

Haizal who prepared a coverage predicition document which identifies the transaction stations along the route between Bukit Aman and Puncak Alam (the scene where the remains of a woman was found) and back testified on the call transactions of first accused C/Insp Azilah Hadri starting from 8.42pm on the night of Oct 19.
Azilah, 31 a police Special Action Unit personnel is jointly charged with his colleague Sirul Azhar Umar, 35, with murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibu between
10.30pm on Oct 19, 2006, and 1am on Oct 20 in the Puncak Alam catchment area.Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 45 is charged with abetting them

Haizal said the number used by Azilah was detected in the surroundings of the Puncak Alam area where a woman was blown up at 11.28pm on Oct 19 (ABOVE, 4th Line). He said a transaction of the phone number was recorded by the Puncak Perdana transmission station during this time. This was followed by transactions captured by the Section U3 Shah Alam transmission station at 11.40pm (ABOVE 5th Line), KM19 North Klang Valley Expressway station at 11.52pm and Bukit Aman at 12.25am on Oct 20 - indicating the return journey of the user to the police headquarters.
Last week, Haizal told the court that he prepared the document after he had accompanied investigating officers DSP Gan Tack Guan and ASP Tonny Lunggan on a drive along the route which was based on the data shown in the Call Details Record of the Celcom prepaid phone line used by Azilah. He had used a drive measurement tool to record all the data which he obtained using a test number last June 16.
The transaction records show Azilah’s journey starting at Bukit Aman which was recorded by the Jalan Parliament transmission station, follwed by transaction records at Bukit Damansara, Bangsar, Jalan Duta, back to Bukit Aman and on towards the Puncak Alam area.
Updated: 03:16PM Thu,
31 Jan 2008
= == = == =from Bernama via STAR; DAY 82

Friday February 1, 2008
Witness: Azilah contacted Sirul and Razak
SHAH ALAM: A Celcom Bhd employee told the Altantuya Shariibuu murder trial that there had never been any mistake in call records from its transmission stations. Haizal Hambali, a technician with the telco's access planning division, said in the eight years that he had been with the company, he had never come across any such error. Haizal, the prosecution's 63rd witness in the trial, which entered its 82nd day yesterday, was clarifying the earlier testimonies two witnesses from the company on the calls made by C/Insp Azilah Hadri, the first accused in the case.
Azilah, 32, and Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, are charged with murdering the 28-year-old Mongolian at Bukit Rajah, Selangor between
10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20, 2006. Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 46, is charged with abetting them. They face the death penalty, if convicted.
According to records, transactions involving the handphone used by Azilah were traced from Bukit Aman to the surrounding areas of Puncak Alam (the location of the crime) between
8pm and midnight on Oct 19 that year.The call records also showed that the accused had contacted Sirul Azhar and Abdul Razak in the days preceding the murder. Continuing with his testimony yesterday, Haizal said the company's Puncak Alam transmission station's records showed that Azilah made calls at 10.43pm and 11.16 pm on Oct 19 while a third call was detected by their Bukit Asmara station at 11.26pm.
Asked by DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah during examination-in-chief why the third call was not detected on the Puncak Alam transmission station but the Bukit Asmara one, Haizal said: “When we are in a high place, we will get signals from a station that is far. On top a hill there are no other strong dominant factors, as such, the mobile phone can pick any nearby signal.”
He said after that, the Puncak Perdana station (nearest to the murder scene) detected another call that was made at
11.28pm to L/Kpl Rohaniza Roslan (Azilah's girlfriend). Thereafter Azilah's calls were detected at Section U3 Shah Alam, Section 4 Kota Damansara, Km19 NKVE and Bukit Aman at 12.25am the next day.
Based on the call transactions, the holder of the phone moved from Bukit Aman to Kampung Melayu, Subang before reaching the hill in Puncak Alam where the murder is said to have taken place, then moved back to Bukit Aman via Section U3, Shah Alam, Section 4 Kota Damansara and the NKVE (North Klang Valley Expressway),” he said.

He said although the Location Area Code might be the same, the actual locations would still be different because the LAC represented a very wide area within which there were many transmission stations, each with its own identity code.
The hearing before Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin resumes on Monday (Feb 4 08).

Thursday, January 31, 2008

MORE PICS & Video– Dr Mahathir Reopens Abdullah wounds; Campaign in GE for some Candidates?; Double Talk – Cleaning Up what he allowed to establish

ABOVE: DAP 2008 GE Mascot - See the Video Clip link at Bottom

UPDATE: February 01, 2008 21:39 PM

Dr Mahathir Won't Support Opposition, Says Mukhriz

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth executive council member Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said his father, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would neither oppose the government nor support the opposition.

"My father will not in any way support the opposition. He has fought the opposition all his life," he said. Mukhriz, who is also the movement's International Relations and Non-Governmental Organisations Bureau chairman, said this in commenting on newspaper reports today which quoted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as saying that there had been no "gentlemen's agreement" between him and Dr Mahathir that he would only serve as prime minister for one term. Yesterday, the newspapers had reported Dr Mahathir saying as such. He was approached by reporters for his comments on the issue after receiving a RM100,000 donation for Aman Malaysia's Gaza Humanitarian Fund from Cheras Umno and the Cheras Education Foundation, which were represented by Senator Datuk Wira Syed Ali Al-Habshee, here today.

Instead, Mukhriz, who is also Aman Malaysia's coordinator, said the opposition would try to manipulate the issue to its own advantage and attempt to cause confusion among the people so that they would be disunited. "I think what is said by both of them strengthens Umno," he said.
He also said that remarks by Dr Mahathir that he would only support BN candidates (in the upcoming election) who were capable and deemed clean was in line with the Prime Minister wanting candidates with similar attributes. "It is the same as what Pak Lah (Abdullah) mentioned (at an Umno briefing), that the factor of the candidate himself was 60 per cent while the party was only 40 per cent (for victory in the polls)," he said.

Mukhriz said what was meant by his father was that the BN would still be the preferred choice of the people if the candidates were able to serve them and their party sincerely and the coalition winning two-thirds majority, as before, would not be much of a problem. "This is not the time to change direction, what is important is to continue with the leadership," he said. Mukhriz added that Umno members must strengthen solidarity and not allow any party, especially the opposition, to split them. Asked if he would be contesting in the election, Muhkriz, who is the Jitra Umno deputy head, said he left it to his division and the party leadership. "It is not I who decide, but the Prime Minister. We can only voice our intentions. If not chosen, we will continue working for the party," he said.

= == = == == = == = =
January 31, 2008 19:38 PM
Abdullah Is "About To" Call For General Election

ABOVE: Looking for the imaginary "inspiration" to call for Election to deny Anwar Ibrahim a chance to participate in GE 2008?

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today dropped another hint that he is about to call for the general election when he said that he is "about to" announce it. "(I'm) about to," he said briefly with a smile when a foreign wire agency journalist asked him whether he had the inspiration to call for the 12th general election. Earlier, he opened the Pavilion shopping complex. Political analysts had predicted that the general election would be called immediately after the Chinese New Year as early as Feb 13 based on the fact that the number 13 is the favourite number of the prime minister due to the fact that his car registration number is 13. Apart from that, Abdullah is scheduled to attend the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting in Senegal from March 8 to 14, thus prompting party insiders to believe that the election is imminent. The last general election in 2004 was announced on March 3 and parliament was dissolved a day later on March 4.

= == = == == = and a Silly Demand from PKR

Tan Sri Khalid: Let Anwar Contest If BN Is Not Afraid ; 31 Januari 2008

It now appears clear that Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi will be calling an early general election by March this year. Whilst recognizing that the timing remains his prerogative, Parti Keadilan Rakyat call upon him to ensure that nomination day will be on April 15th or later so that Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Ketua Umum of KeADILan, will be able to exercise his basic political rights and participate in the election. Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim has already been wrongfully deprived of his political rights since his first conviction on 14th April 1999. Both his convictions have been universally condemned as politically motivated, and the result of procedurally flawed and unfair trials, rendering his six year incarceration in Sungei Buloh prison, a political detention. Now with recent evidence affirming corruption involving the then heads of the judiciary, the attorney-general's chambers, the former IGP and senior judges who were also involved in his appeals, it is clear how Dr. Mahathir would have easily directed Dato Seri Anwar’s arrest and jailing with such sycophantic and corrupt judges and officials who could never have exercised independence because they had compromised their own positions.

Prime Minister Abdullah should recognize this and ensure that he does not fix the timing of the next election to once again deprive Dato Seri Anwar of his right to participate - a basic right which was denied to him in the 1999 and the 2004 general elections. We say have an early election by all means, but fix nomination day for April 15th or later. If Dato Seri Anwar is “irrelevant” to Malaysian politics as some persons have recently claimed, then there should be no reluctance in delaying the election by a month or so to allow him to participate. Allow Malaysian citizens to hear him and decide whether the ideas and proposals for reform that he and KeADILan are advocating are superior to the continuing mandate that the BN requests from them. Allow a fair battle of ideas to take place for the benefit of Malaysia and its future. We also ask Prime Minister Abdullah to ensure that key demands for electoral reform are also met before an election is called. In accordance with what BERSIH has called for, ensure the proper implementation of indelible ink, abolish postal voting for members of the security forces and police and their spouses, cleanse the electoral roll from fraudulent registrations and allow fair access to all parties to mainstream media.

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim; Secretary General.; Parti Keadilan Rakyat

= == = == == = == = =

January 31, 2008 19:00 PM

I Don't Have Gentlemen's Agreement With Dr M, Says AbdullahKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has denied having a "gentlemen's agreement" with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that he will serve as prime minister for only one term before handing over the post to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. "There is no gentlemen's agreement," the prime minister told reporters after opening the Pavilion shopping centre here today. Abdullah, however, declined to elaborate when pressed for further comments on the matter. He repeated, saying: "No, gentlemen's agreement".

The prime minister was asked to comment on the so-called "gentlemen's agreement" between Abdullah and his predecessor Dr Mahathir as claimed by the former prime minister that Abdullah would serve as prime minister for only one term before passing the baton to Najib. Dr Mahathir said yesterday that since Abdullah was older than Najib, he should be prime minister for one term and then Najib should be able to take over. Dr Mahathir claimed the agreement was made in 2003 when he handed over the leadership to Abdullah. Dr Mahathir, however, admitted that he had no way of proving it.

= == = == == January 31, 2008 14:34 PM

Najib Not Aware Of Abdullah-Mahathir 'Gentlemen's Agreement'

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 31 (Bernama) -- Stressing that he was not aware of any "gentlemen's agreement" between Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he was committed to support and be loyal to the prime minister."I don't know about that (gentlemen's agreement). I am committed to support the prime minister and be loyal to the prime minister," the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters after opening a seminar for Felda mosque officials. Najib said his focus at the moment was on the soon-to-be-held general election and "I want to ensure the Barisan Nasional wins big."

Pressed further whether he knew about the gentlemen's agreement, Najib said: "I don't know. You have to ask the parties concerned." He was asked to comment on the so-called "gentlemen's agreement" between Abdullah and Dr Mahathir as claimed by the former prime minister that Abdullah would serve as prime minister for only one term before passing the baton to Najib. Dr Mahathir said yesterday that since Abdullah was older than Najib, he should be prime minister for one term and then Najib should be able to take over. Dr Mahathir claimed the agreement was made in 2003 when he handed over the leadership to Abdullah. Dr Mahathir, however, admitted that he had no way of proving it.

UPDATE:== == = = == = == = Transcript of Press Conference - issued by his Press Secretary, Sufi Yusof

Dr M: First thing before you begin to ask me questions I would like to thank you very much for your presence today. What my book is all about I have already explained just now so if there are anymore questions you are welcomed to ask, if I can answer, I will, if I cannot I will just shut up. Okay...

Q: Will you contest in the coming General Election?
Dr M : Well like the comedian who was talking about his girlfried, he would like to but he didn't...

Q: How much does the US recession is likely to affect Malaysia?
Dr M : Well actually today the US should close down because it had been bankrupt for several years now. It has deficits. But because the United States owns IMF (International Monetary Fund) the IMF has not taken any action. If we were in that situation we would have been crushed to the ground but this is the US where they can print money and where they can make use of other opeople's money to sustain an economy that is unsustainable.

But unfortunately too many countries have trade and investment links with the US and some of these investments abroad are really meant to supply the US with their products. If the US is not in a position to buy their products then these companies located in other countries including Malaysia will suffer. So the fact remains that the US economy is so big that its collapse is going to affect the world. So the world is not going to allow it to collapse just like the US will not allow certain big banks to collapse. We will feel the impact, whether we like it or not. We will feel the impact. In fact we are already feeling the impact. Today we are in a state of denial and bad things are coming in the future because it is not going to be easy to ensure that the US recession does not take place. It is not easy to reverse the process

Q: Tun now Malaysia does not trade much with the US?
Dr M : I don’t know the last figure I had was about 30% of our exports still go to the
US. So 80 per cent of our trade about...100 billion a year is a very big chunk

Q: Your comment on lacklustre attitude from OIC in response to the problems in Palestine
Dr M : It is usual that they are not interested in the sufferings of the people in
Gaza or Palestine. They are too busy with other things. They have never shown any sympathy for the Palestinian, only verbal support but no really tangible support.

Q: Tun akan turun Padang berkempen untuk BN?
Dr M : Saya dulu saya terima iaitu saya akan bantu dalam kempen tapi pada tahun 2004 oleh kerana parti BN begitu popular saya dikehendaki tidak kempen di tempat-tempat tertentu. Saya akan kempen cuma kalau saya percaya orang yang dicalonkan itu ialah orang yang boleh membawa kebaikan.

Q: Politics is dirty because of politicians or is it that politics is just dirty?
Dr M : The politicians, because I am also a politician I don't play dirty politics but when people who have openly told lies and the whole country knows they told lies and they get re-elected...and (this) cause me to lose my respect and lose my faith in the political system as practised by them.

Q: In your book...(not audible)
Dr M : I have claimed to be a Muslim fundamentalist. This one (Hadhari) is modern Islam which is another thing altogether. I go for the fundamentals and the fundamentals of Islam is very good. It is not like the Christian fundamentalist where they are equated with extremism. To equate Muslim fundamentalist with extremism is wrong. It’s a misnomer. If you really follow the teachings of Islam, the basic teachings of Islam, you should be a very good man, a very progressive man, well-balanced person.

Q: (not audible)
Dr M : I always point out that for 1,400 years there have been many interpretations of Islam and many of these interpretations are influenced by the situation occurring at that time so the interpretation today is because we are a democratic country we will have elections and anything that we say can be used by the opposition in order to gain support.

Q: You mean current situation our interpretation is more for political reasons?
Dr M : Yes I think it is political more than religious. If its religious we need to sit down and discuss the basis of this decision and then only we can really say that it is an Islamic injunction not to do certain things.

Q: You say you will campaign for candidates...does this include opposition?
Dr M : No, I will not campaign for the opposition. But I am saying the people who support the BN should be a little bit more selective. Should think, should choose wisdom in their choice of the people they will support. If people name some deadwood, some corrupt politician as candidates even if they are from the BN, BN supporters should not support them. That way we can clean the party, BN and UMNO because there is no hope that Umno can be cleaned from within because everything is controlled now. Nobody can have an opinion and any contrary views they will make (is) sure will not be heard.

Q: Tun mengatakan bahawa pengundi termasuk penyokong BN perlu melakukan perubahan di piliharaya untuk megubah kepimpinan BN dan Umno. Itu maksud Tun?
Dr M : Ya, itu sahaja harapan kita. Itu pun bukanlah kuat sangat harapan kerana saya berpendapat pengundi-pengundi biasa pun kadang-kadang terpengaruh dengan cara yang tidak halal tetapi kita sudah hilang keupayaan untuk menukar pemimpin di peringkat parti kerana parti sekarang ini dibenar cuma mengata "Yes" kepada apa yang presiden kata. Jadi tidak ada real opinion dalam party anymore. No way you can change the leadership of the party or the way the party operates from within. If the people in
Malaysia wish to have a party that is centered on nepotism and corruption then of course they will vote for the same people and will achieve no correction

Q: Are you saying the PM for the moment can be considered in your definition as deadwood?
Dr M : I don’t know about what my opinion is but i know i have differences with him.

Q: Lepas tun lepas jawatan PM ada khabar angin tentang fail rasuah tokoh Umno kelantan yang Tun serah kepada Pak Lah untuk tindakan...
Dr M : Fail kalau ada akan diserah oleh ACA. Bukan saya punya tugas nak serah file tapi saya tahu ada kes tertentu yang harus diselidik dan tindakan diambil. Saya amat sedar bahawa kes corruption bukan mudah untuk kita buktikan. Dengan itu kita cuma akan dengar cerita yang buruk tetapi akhirnya tiada satu tindakan pun yang boleh diambil

Q: When you stepped down in 2003 you said you made a gentleman's agreement for him to stay one term. In this case macam mana?
Dr M : Even if I said I had this gentlemen's agreement there is no way I can prove it. My thinking that since he was older than Najib he should be PM for a term and then Najib should be able to take over.

Q: In the 22 years of your administration, there was fast track development, many things were done in record time...PM now needs more time beyond five years to develop his projects. What is your view?
Dr M : I know it takes time to implement plans and projects but i think if that is to be used as an excuse to stay in power for 18 years that would not be very welcome. But that time to this time only announcements are being made. He is already asking for time to do this.

Q: The PM announced economic corridor, repercussion not now... commitments made are huge. If not able to be delivered what will happen to future PM?
Dr M : What i think is that it certainly will not be delivered by the time of the election. So this is the reason why you should allow the present Government to go on so that they can implement. But the way, the things are being implemented are also questionable. Giving it to the so called GLC which then gives contracts to other people, none of which are very open that is not really the right way to do things.

Q: What is you greatest concern in 50 years looking at Malaysia?
Dr M : Well, I think the Government does not seem to know how to progress, how to implement things. It’s already quite sometime since I stepped down. (It) would have been easier perhaps to just continue with the projects already on the ground but it was decided to postpone ostensibly because of lack of funds. But what I do know is that when I stepped down there was enough money to go ahead with all the so-called mega projects. Now they have decided to go ahead with some of the mega projects but the cost is very high, as much as 50 % more simply because the cost of living, the cost of everything has gone up in the meantime. So the postponement was totally unjustified. Now they realised that these are needed infrastructure.

Q: Time to implement mean he should carry on as PM?
Dr M : It depends upon the record you have shown in some other things that doesn't need too much time. If you show that you can implement it, the smaller projects, i think you should be given more time for the bigger projects. But what you see is just a stoppage, a kind of reversal of the previous policies and projects ostensibly because there were no funds and this is not such a good judgment.

Q: Now you are complaining of cronyism and nepotism in Pak Lah's term...(question not audible)
Dr M : Well I am aware that I was not always right but those people who were called my cronies were not my cronies. As a matter of fact when I was accused of these I published, I made public the list of people who had projects etc and it was clear that they were not people I know except for the very well known figures. I was not practising cronyism but of course these (accusations) were attached to me as a kind of label to undermine my credibility (and) I cannot get away from it. But today we see nepotism creeping in. We see companies getting projects to the extent that many Malaysian entrepreneurs and contractors are now going abroad. They said there is no opportunity within the country.

Q: Tun, as ahli Umno No 1. Are you aware of current happenings within the party, do you get any updates?
Dr M : Nothing, I am completely cut out

Q: Compared to during your time the BN is no longer as united as before...
Dr M : When we have a group of people working together, we must know how to handle them. They have grouses, they have differences but if you handle them properly and tackle the grouses, I think they will sit together. But if you show any weakness, giving in, people will take advantage of your weakness.

Q: In the recent state assembly sitting in Kelantan Datuk Mustafa Mohamad admitted he asked you to stop developing Kelantan when PAS took over Government...
Dr M : Well not only Mustafa but all the rest of Umno felt you should not develop Kelantan because if you do they will tell people..."Look even if you don't vote for BN you will still get development, so why bother to vote for BN?" - that's what PAS will say and that has always been a problem with PAS even in my constituency. If a village is supportive of PAS and i were to give a bridge or whatever PAS will tell people "Look you don't have to support the Government so support us." Because of that we had to hold back.

Q: Do you think political Islam will play a big role in the next General Election?
Dr M : It will be exploited to the utmost by PAS and the Government will have its hands full trying to handle it.

Q: What about racial issues?
Dr M : It is unfortunate because we have never really achieved racial harmony but we have been able to keep it within control. But now people are not only taking action based on race but also on religion. They say Hinduism was not something that will cause a ..... (not audidble)....but now Hindus apparently feel dissatisfied with their lot and have made this demonstration. I don't say that because I agree with them. I don't agree with them. But they see a Government that is retreating and of course they want to take advantage.

Q: Apa pendapat tun tentang sekiranya anak beranak dapat jawatan utama dalam parti umno. Bolehkah orang Melayu terima?
Dr M: Psychology....attitude Melayu berbeza sikit. Dia sokong bukan kerana individu. Sokong kerana parti, kalau bagi a piece of log there or a stone they will still vote the party because this is my party and I cannot allow my party to lose. The Chinese are much more selective. They did not like me in 1969. They made sure I lost the election but they also made sure the Alliance won the election. So if you cause a person that you don't like to lose, it doesn't mean that the party will lose, the party will win.

Q: You were reported that MIC should be blamed for the Indians' plight. Were you misquoted?
Dr M : No, its not MIC as a political party. But the thing is that people, rather Indians, who may not agree with MIC but still wish to support the BN are not given ay chance at all. In their frustration, whether MIC is right or wrong is a different matter, obviously there is no opportunity for anybody else, any other Indians, to come up.

Q: What role are you trying to play in the next General Election?
Dr M : I'm trying to promote cleansing of the party by the people, because within the party it is not possible to cleanse. If I say anything there will be a chorus of people who will curse me including some of my former ministers...they will curse if I'm going to be cursed by them i might as well be cursed for everything else.

Q: Strategi pukul anak sindir menantu...
Dr M : There is a risk in all these things but I hope that we will love this country enough to vote for the best candidate.

Q: Masksudnya Tun boleh terima hakikat pembangkang menang lebih?
Dr M : No, pembangkang tak mungkin menang lebih banyak daripada BN. Lebih banyak dari sekarang mungkin, tapi tak boleh jadi kerajaan.

Q: More than in 1999?
Dr M : 1999 was a different matter. A question of a black eye

Q: 99 was issues of emotion, but now isu harga barang, jenayah jadi kebimbangan pada rakyat...
Dr M : Well the issues are different. There is problem of inflation etc but more important is the quality of leadership, quality of Umno that has degenerated to the point where members cannot say anything. You say something you are hauled up and asked to choose between the PM and whoever. So there is not a slightest freedom that is allowed and in my case I was invited by many people and the people who invited me were called by the police not to go ahead with the invitation, to cancel the invitation. Of course you can use police for implementing the law but there is no law that allows police to threaten people that if they hold the meeting and invite me they will get into trouble. But this is what happened.
During my time, Tengku Razaleigh wanted to make a speech they could make a speech. Anybody who wanted to make a speech, even Tengku Razaleigh, I did not stop him. But here the moment I stepped down almost I was practically not allowed to speak.

Q: How do you plan to cleanse the party?
Dr M : Its up to the people to vote in those leaders who are clean because the party will not clean itself

Q: But what is you plan?
Dr M : I don't know all I can say is talk to you (the Press)...

Q: How about the leadership,,,
Dr M : Its up to the people to make an assessment as to who should continue or who should go.

Q: Your assessment...will there be total change in the line-up
Dr M : I think there will be no total change. There will be some people who will be retained some people who have not delivered they should not be retained

Q: The young generation?
Dr M : Unfortunately the young generation does not even bother to register

Q: Claims of vote buying, any proof?
Dr M : In my case I have proof. People were bribed not to vote for me in my constituency and I expect that to be extended, it was nothing just a small matter but still these attempts were made to prevent me from becoming just a wakil

Q: Do you think there will be outright vote buying?
Dr M : There is that possibility. I was told in the by election that thing happened.

= == = == = == = = == =Original POST Below
Having regained his health somewhat, Dr Mahathir is back to his usual self and track to denigrate PM Abdullah style of leadership of accommodation especially on foreiicies issues. And he is still harping on the “one-term government” for Abdullah “which would pave the way for deputy premier Najib Abdul Razak, should take place sooner to make way for the party next generation of leaders to move up the political ladder” as was suggested in the ST Singapore Forum on “What LIES BEHIND the STANDOFF between Dr Mahathir and PM Datuk Seri Ahmad Abdulah in KL” (Details H E R E).

His wish to participate in the campaign for candidates he perceived as worthy would not be welcomed by Abdullah. But who would seek his “services” and be identified? It is laughable that he wants to "promote cleansing of the party” when he had for years allowed the rot to set in.

His pronouncement that it is “impossible for the Opposition to win more seats than BN, to form a government” fits in nicely with what the opposition has always claimed that the “elections” have been rigged, not physically in the voting but the gerrymandering that has been in place all along for a BN perpetual stay in power.

His confirmation of mindset of the Malays is such that even if you put a piece of log (to represent the party) they will vote for it..” shows that the Malay votes have all along “been blind” to that extent either for PAS or for UMNO.

His latest Book "Mahathir's Selected Letters to World an incomplete one ("censored") as it was reported that many other letters (being sensitive) have been embargoed by the Government - prevented from being from being published to cause embarrassment to existing living personalities.

Present government refuses to declassify more lettersfrom; his Incomplete Book (ABOVE, Cover, priced at RM49.90, 237 pages for his fans)

This is an important context because the supposedly juicier part of Mahathir's letters had been embargoed as long as Abdullah Badawi is in power. According to James Wong, the editor of Dr Mahathir's book Abdullah Ahmad -- aka Dollah Kok Lanas (DKL) -- had told him that Mahathir initially wanted to publish about 200 letters. However, the present government only allowed 84 to be declassified and 13 were further dropped with the consent of the editor and publisher “because they are relatively unimportant”.
DKL’s introduction to the book states that those letters withheld by the current government are actually “more noteworthy and interesting”. “The selection, to my mind, of the letters to be released was poor. It was imposed on him (Mahathir) by the government of his successor,” he said, adding that Mahathir is currently writing his memoirs.
Interestingly, book editor Dollah Kok Lanas is someone emplaced by Mahathir but Abdullah Badawi decided to sack as soon as he took over as the Prime Minister. Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan was soon placed in DKL's position as the NSTP's successive GEIC and the rest, as they say, is history.

= == = == == = == = ==
Malaysia's Mahathir sees no easing of rift with PM;Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:15pm IST
By Jalil Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday he would remain a thorn in the side of his successor in the run-up to elections, and would continue to speak his mind. Until subdued by heart problems last year, the outspoken Mahathir was the most vocal critic of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, accusing his government of lacking "guts" and selling out Malaysian sovereignty. "I still disagree on several of his policies, mainly allowing Malaysians to be subject to
Singapore's wishes," the 82-year-old told select foreign media in an interview ahead of Wednesday's launch of his new book. The book published for the first time his personal correspond-ence with world leaders including U.S. President George W. Bush, on issues ranging from terrorism to Islam and Myanmar. "We are not as independent as before in terms of our attitude towards international affairs," said Mahathir, who ruled the nation for 22 years with an iron grip. "We tend to be very accommodative."
In the interview, he took Abdullah to task for "wasting (public) money", dismissed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as a "daydreamer" and asserted that the domestic economy was in "bad shape" without a rally in commodity prices. Mahathir said Abdullah's ruling front would be returned with a strong majority in the polls, widely expected by March, but said voters must get rid of dead wood in the coalition. "But there are certain people whose contribution is negative. These people should not be chosen as candidates," Mahathir, wearing a collarless Nehru suit, said at his office in the 88-storey
Petronas Twin Towers.
"I still support the party and I still believe the party will win with a good majority but one must not confuse support for the party with support for the individual," he said.
On Anwar, Mahathir said his political enemy would not be a major factor in the coming elections. "He's not a real factor," he said. "There's no more political future for him. If he thinks he's going to be the prime minister, it's daydreaming of the worst kind."
A charismatic speaker, Anwar was sacked from government in 1998 after falling out with Mahathir. Anwar then led street protests before he was arrested and later jailed on what he called trumped-up charges of graft and sodomy. Released in 2004, his corruption conviction means he cannot stand for elected office or hold political office until April this year.
Mahathir, who has a history of heart problem, underwent a heart bypass in September and doctors have advised him to cut down on travel and other activities, including horse-riding. The operation was Mahathir's second such surgery since 1989 and followed two heart attacks over the past 13 months.
His quarrel with Abdullah came to the fore after the government scrapped Mahathir's idea to replace a causeway linking
Malaysia and Singapore with a bridge. Asked if Abdullah should quit, he replied: "It is up to him to decide. It's also up to the people to decide. If the people want him to move on, if they think his administration is not benefiting them, they should make a decision."

= == = == == == == == == = == ==

Dr M pledges to campaign for 'worthy' BN candidates
By : Farrah Naz Karim; NST; PUTRAJAYA, Jan 30:
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has pledged his support to campaign for Barisan Nasional candidates whom he believes could bring about positive changes to the party. "(If I am asked to) I will, if I believe the candidate is worth it," he said at the launch of a book which contains a compilation of 71 of his letters to world leaders, including those sent to United States President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Dr Mahathir said his role in the impending elections is also to "promote cleansing of the party” but added that Malaysians on their part, must prove that they loved their country enough to vote only for the best candidates and those who are "clean". Asked about an arrangement he allegedly made with his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2003, Dr Mahathir said although he had no way of proving it, he said the understanding was for Abdullah to serve as Prime Minister only for a term, before passing the baton to Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“That was my thinking, since (Abdullah) was older than Najib, he should be PM for one term and then Najib should be able to take over,” he was quoted by AFP. “I know it takes time to implement plans and projects but I think if that is to be used as an excuse to stay in power for 18 years then that will not be very welcome.” Dr Mahathir said it was crucial that the people only voted in leaders who performed and were credible because "the party would not be able clean itself up".

"It is up to the people to assess who should continue and who should go ... candidates who have not delivered must not be retained, only that way can we clean up BN and Umno," he said adding that he would never lend his support to the Opposition. Dr Mahathir said there was no reason for voters to feel that they should accept a candidate just because he is from BN to ensure the party's win. This, he said was because it is impossible for the Opposition to win more seats than BN, to form a government. He said Malay voters especially, must change their mindset and not keep voting merely for a party but should rather consider the candidates fielded. Cautioning voters of an irreparable move if they did not vote wisely, he said unless Malaysians wished to have a party that is centred on nepotism and corruption, they must reconsider voting for the same people who have not performed. "The mindset of the Malays is such that even if you put a piece of log (to represent the party) they will vote for it... as they cannot allow the party to lose. "If you cause a candidate to lose, it does not mean that the party will lose, it will still win," he said.
= === == == == = == = == ==

DrM: Vote for 'good candidates', not parties; Pauline Puah; theSUN

PUTRAJAYA (Jan 30, 2008): Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says voters should vote for "good candidates" instead of parties in the next general election to ensure the Barisan Nasional (BN), especially its main component Umno, is "cleansed". "(This is) because there is no hope that Umno can be cleansed from within. Everything is controlled now. Nobody can have an opinion and contrary views ... they will make sure they are unheard," he told a press conference after launching a book titled 'Mahathir’s Selected Letters to World Leaders'. He said voters should not support corrupt leaders, even if the candidates are from BN. "That way, we can clean up BN and Umno," said Mahathir, who was in his usual combative mood.

Mahathir said he would only campaign for candidates who can bring good to the country but will not campaign for opposition candidates. "Last time, I said I would help in the (election) campaign. But in 2004, the BN was so popular, so I did not campaign. (Now) I will campaign if I believe that that candidate can bring benefit to the people," he said. "I hope that we will love the country enough to vote for the best candidate. But I think people who support BN should be a little bit more selective. (They) should think and have wisdom to choose people they support."

On whether he could accept the fact that the opposition would win more seats in the next general election, he said the Opposition would not win more seats than BN and that even if they have more seats, they would not be able to form a government. Mahathir said political Islam will be exploited by PAS in the coming general election and the government will have its hands full managing it. When a reporter asked whether he had a gentleman's agreement with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that the latter would only helm the country for one term, he said: "Even If I say that I have this gentleman's agreement, there is no way I can prove this."

"(But), that was my thinking - that he (Abdullah) was older than Najib . He should be PM for one term, then Najib should be able to take over," he said. The book contains 71 letters from Mahathir to the world leaders of his time, such as former British prime minister Tony Blair, former US president Bill Clinton, and US president George W. Bush. The book, with an introduction and selected commentaries from former special envoy to the United Nations Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad, touches on the issues of terrorism, globalisation, economic and diplomatic relations and war and conflicts.
07:08PM Wed, 30 Jan 2008
= == == = === == = == == = = =
January 30, 2008 20:36 PM

Book On Dr Mahathir's Selected Letters Launched

ABOVE & BELOW: The cutting of the yellow ribbon to launch the book with little help from Abdullah Ahmad

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 30 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today launched his book entitled "Mahathir's Selected Letters to World Leaders. Never-before-published correspondence with esteemed leaders from the world over, the 71 letters by Dr Mahathir, Bush, Chirac, Blair, Thatcher and Prince Charles (among others) are unique as they interpret and argue their contrasting positions on terrorism, globalisation, economic and diplomatic relations, and war and conflict. The correspondence were transparent, solid, and informative. Dr Mahathir writes directly, in his own recognisable voice and style, a unique correspondence by a remarkable Malaysian Prime Minister.

ABOVE: A foreword by the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin (BELOW)

It is a book to be enjoyed, on many different levels, by all who love politics, diplomacy and international relations. None of these letters have been published before and the most obvious feature is the style, the simple words used to explain various complex, issues were written in ordinary English sentences.
The 237-page book, retailed at RM49.90 was published by Marshall Cavendish, an international publisher of books, directories, magazines and on-line learning.

It was edited and compiled by Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad (ABOVE, celebrating his 70th B/D last year) who is an MCKK-Cambridge and Harvard-educated writer, public intellectual and the founding chairman of the Institute of Political and Economic Studies (KAPE). Abdullah was special envoy to the United Nations between 1996-2000 and editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times for several years

= == = == = = =Watch the 2 min Video Clip - Book Launch & his Advice on Electing UMNO Candidates, Abdullah's denial, Najib Unaware & his so called Inspiration

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