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Monday April 21, 2008

Dr M: Najib should not be PM


MANCHESTER: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he had second thoughts about Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak becoming Prime Minister as Najib had failed to speak up about the real reasons behind Barisan Nasional’s losses in the general election.

The former prime minister claimed that Najib was not “brave enough” to directly say anything that was not liked by his boss.

“We see that he is a penakut (coward). He is always saying, ‘yes sir, yes sir, saya sokong, saya sokong (I support, I support).”

He said, when the prime minister blamed Barisan’s losses on sabotage, Najib merely agreed to it.

Dr Mahathir cited another instance when Najib gave his full support for Malaysia to build a bridge to Singapore despite the republic’s disagreement. But Najib suddenly changed his mind when Abdullah decided against the project, he added.

“I believe he should rightly explain the real reasons for Barisan’s losses in the election,” he said when asked on the reason for his change of mind about Najib after giving a talk on “Malay, Malaysian and Malaysia: Challenges Ahead” at the University of Manchester on Saturday.

Dr Mahathir had earlier this month withdrawn his support for Najib to be prime minister but did not give his reason for doing so.

“I’m not so confident (about him taking over as prime minister). Even so, it all depends on Umno to appoint the person to be prime minister.

“Najib will have to face competition from others such as (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin Yassin, (Datuk Seri Dr) Rais Yatim, you never know.”

He, however, said if Abdullah were to step down now, it would pave the way for a smooth transition as Najib would succeed him in accordance with Umno tradition.

Dr Mahathir also felt that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would not be the sole candidate for Prime Minister if Pakatan Rakyat were to win in the next general election.

He believed there were other candidates as well, saying PAS was eyeing the post while (DAP’s Lim) Guan Eng could be premier too.

“Anwar thinks he will be prime minister. It’s not that they loved him but it’s a marriage of convenience,” he added.

On the plan to set up a judicial appointments commission and the goodwill ex-gratia payments to six senior judges, Dr Mahathir claimed it was a political move to boost the government’s popularity.

He said there was no reason for the compensation because everything was done in accordance with the law.

“If they can show me the removal of (former Lord President) Tun Salleh Abas was against procedures prescribed by the law, please let me know,” he said.

Comments :

Unknown said...

Talking to Stephen Sackur in a BBC “Hardtalk” first aired this afternoon, who described him as “A personified fellow and opponents call him a ‘Dictator and Racist’ ”. The program was taped in London on Friday, 18 April 2008. This was his first interview on air in a foreign media since the 12th Malaysia General Elections on 8 March 2008.

He said “Results of the GE show former supporters of the ruling party (BN), voted Oppositions, not because they liked them!”. When asked for the reason, the stern response was “The Government promised to remove corruption but they themselves are corrupt”. He also explained that PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah must go now because the next leader needed time to revive the party and the support and unless there are changes, then this might be the beginning of the end of BN.

On the New Economic Policy, “It was a system initiated by my predecessors. The system worked for the past 50 years, and had worked very well. It was to correct the imbalance created since the British days”. Sackur asked about “The real discontent” from different ethic groups in the country and charged, Malaysia, especially during Tun Dr. Mahathir’s time, practiced racial-biased policies. Sackur remarked that the NEP is no longer relevant, nor acceptable. He even quoted Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement. The former Prime Minister’s response was “Malaysia is built for all. Everyone is prosperous. All benefited from the Government policies and progressed. Why only now and not during my time?”.

Then Sackur charged if people were to voice out against him then, they would be arrested. “Hundreds of people were arrested?”, Tun Dr. Mahathir’s instant response, “Who are they?” and vehemently contradicted the host with “The first thing I did as the Prime Minister, was to release many political detainees”. He then added that foreign media is fond of making up these stories and end up propagating them as “the truth”. “Tell me who are the hundreds who I have put in prison (for political reason)?”.

In the case of Anwar Ibrahim, when asked to comment about having the support of many, and even BN MPs are ready to defect, and wanted to make changes in the system, including racially-based policies, “He is welcomed to do that, when he becomes the PM” and added, “The present leadership should be blamed for losing the support of the BN MPs”.

On issues raised by Anwar, which is favourable to the minority groups “Now, there is an opportunity for him. He was in Government before. He did not complain”. Then the issue about his arrest and conviction was trumped up and now proposing that the former regretted on that episode, “Why should I regret? He was arrested under the laws of the country, tried under the laws of the country and locked up for abuse of power. This is accordance to the Malaysian law”. Sackur then added that Anwar wanted to do a full and thorough public inquiry for all of Tun Dr. Mahathir’s wrong doings in the 22 years in office. He responded with sarcasm, “Let’s see if he can obtain a fully impartial inquiry. Probably he can get foreigners”.

When responding to Sackur’s list of Western report of unfair trial for Anwar, Tun Dr. Mahathir asked in return “What are the track record of these countries? These are the sort of people who arrest people without law and trial, like Guantanamo Bay”. Then, the issue was raised about the use of the Internal Security Act, which was put in place as an Emergency Ordinance by the British. “We did it under the law of the country. We needed to prevent people from causing racial riot and disharmony”. He later elaborated on Malaysia being multi-ethnic and multi-religious society.

On the Judiciary, relating to the issue involving a video with lawyer V K Lingam purportedly talking on the phone and mentioning Tun Dr. Mahathir’s name, “This man had his video taken because he was defending me. This man was defending me, and Anwar is the one who released this tape. Anwar wanted to blackmail him!”.

On the move by PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah making ex-gratia payments to dismissed Lord President Tun Mohamed Salleh Abas and five Supreme Court Judges, “A political move by a very unpopular man, trying to do “something right”. He is not dismantling the system. He is making use of the system in worst ways!”. What he did not say was, none of the members of the bench attended the Bar Council dinner where PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah made the announcement.

About the appointment of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah, Tun Dr. Mahathir explained that the former seemed ‘clean’ and ‘pious’ when he was appointed as the successor, even though he did not have the bigger support as the Vice President of UMNO. “We all made mistakes. Just like the British people made a mistake by putting a liar like Blair to power”.

The debate continued towards democracy. He elaborated that democracy has to be fully understood and used with the right intention, otherwise, it can turn into anarchy. He also quoted that many earlier civilizations did not practice democracy and they turned out to be great. “Democracy is good when the leader is good”. He reminded that “It was a leader of a democratic country who dropped atomic bombs”.

Sackur then charged him as being ‘Anti-Semitic’ and the instant response was “Anti-semitism is something created by the Jews themselves”. He then related to the earlier issue of democracy. “There are journalists who were arrested for talking about and against the Holocaust. Where is the ‘Freedom of Press’ then?”. He also explained on his speech “The Jews rule the world by proxy”, with “The United States allowing the Israelis to do anything they want”.

The interview was ended when he was asked, whether he will continue to attack the Leadership and Government and whether “It’s time for you to be quiet”. His response, with his typical smirk, “Why should I be quiet, when they are doing something wrong to my country?”.

The wide ranging 30-minute program, was a really good interview, indeed.

*Updated on 6.20pm

The interview can now be viewed on the Hardtalk page.

*Updated on 12.10am Tuesday, 22 April 2008 report on the program:

Anonymous said...

'Saya bukan penakut, tidak mahu pecah belahkan parti'


KUALA LUMPUR 21 April - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (gambar) menegaskan, beliau bukan takut untuk bersuara dalam isu-isu politik, sebaliknya berpegang kepada prinsip penyerahan kuasa secara tersusun serta terhormat demi kepentingan UMNO dan Barisan Nasional (BN).

Timbalan Perdana Menteri berkata, kepentingan UMNO tidak boleh terjejas dan sejarah membuktikan bahawa peralihan kuasa dalam parti itu berlaku dengan tersusun dan baik.

"Ia bukan masalah Mr. Yes Man, tak berani atau takut sebab saya berpegang kepada prinsip bahawa cara yang terbaik ialah penyerahan kuasa secara tersusun dan terhormat.

"Itulah yang akan memberi makna dan menentukan kepentingan parti tidak terjejas dan tidak berpecah-belah," kata Timbalan Presiden UMNO itu.

Najib berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas kenyataan bekas Presiden UMNO, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad bahawa beliau tidak seharusnya dilantik sebagai Perdana Menteri kerana 'tidak berani' mendedahkan sebab sebenar kekalahan BN di beberapa negeri dalam pilihan raya umum 8 Mac lalu.

Bercakap kepada pemberita selepas menyaksikan Majlis Menandatangani Kontrak dan Surat Hasrat sempena Pameran dan Persidangan Perkhidmatan Pertahanan Asia (DSA 2008) di sini hari ini, Najib berkata, UMNO mempunyai tradisi peralihan kuasa yang lancar.

Menurut beliau, sejarah UMNO memperlihatkan penyerahan kuasa dilakukan dengan tersusun.

"Sudah ada tradisi dan cara baik yang diamalkan dalam parti.

"Pada hemat saya itulah cara terbaik dan kaedah untuk kita melakukan perubahan kepada kepimpinan negara seperti yang dinyatakan oleh Perdana Menteri dan Presiden parti," katanya.

Najib percaya peluang perlu diberikan agar peralihan kuasa tersebut berjalan dengan cara yang terhormat memandangkan segala keputusan politik dalam jangka masa terdekat akan memberikan kesan kepada UMNO.

"UMNO dan BN berada dalam keadaan yang lemah selepas pilihan raya umum, ia tidak sekuat dulu dan kita memerlukan masa untuk memulihkan kekuatan UMNO,'' katanya.

Perbalahan dan pergeseran dalaman, ujar Najib, jika berlaku pasti akan membentuk dua atau tiga puak dalam parti yang akan melemahkan UMNO dan BN secara langsung.

Ketika ditanya sama ada UMNO kini dilanda keretakan, beliau menyangkal dakwaan tersebut tetapi tidak menolak kemungkinan ia akan terjadi jika wujud pergeseran kuasa dan kepimpinan.

"Saya tidak kata wujud perpecahan tapi jika ada krisis kepimpinan, ia akan mengulangi (krisis) tahun 1987 dan krisis (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim. Persoalannya, apakah BN dan UMNO mampu melalui senario seumpama itu lagi?" kata Najib.

Anonymous said...

Dr Mahathir: I’m ready to be probed

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is prepared to be investigated by a full and formal public inquiry if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were to become the Prime Minister.

However, the former premier said he hoped that those who sit on the board of inquiry would be neutral, impartial and probably foreigners.

“He’s (Anwar’s) welcome to do that if he becomes the Prime Minister of Malaysia, but if he wins members of the ruling party to his side it is the present leader who should be blamed because he can’t even get the loyalty of his own members,” he said during a 30-minute interview on the BBC World News HARDtalk programme with Stephen Sackur.

He was asked to respond to Anwar’s statement that he would call for a full and public inquiry into Dr Mahathir’s misdeeds if Anwar were to become the Prime Minister.

Asked whether he was ready to express regret over what he did to Anwar now that he has retired for several years, Dr Mahathir said: “Why should I regret? He was arrested under the laws of the country. He was tried in the courts of the country. Sentenced by court. If he was not wrong, no matter what you think about our judiciary, I don’t think he would have been sent to prison.”

On Anwar saying that he would push politics that were not racially defined, Dr Mahathir said that it was opportunism for Anwar, who was now out of the government but never did anything when he was in the government.

Asked about Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s conciliatory gesture of offering monetary compensation to judges who were suspended during the 1988 judicial crisis, he said: “Fine, but it’s a political strategy by a man who is very unpopular at the moment wanting to show that he’s going to do something right.”

“Nobody can say anything against him. Newspapers report about how great he is. His own supporters misled him into believing that if he holds elections before the end of his term, he would win a clean sweep. If you look at the record of his statements, he said he would win with zero opposition.”

On claims that his criticisms against Abdullah over the last few years had brought his successor down, he said: “I don’t see why I should not criticise wrongdoings by him.”

On why he picked Abdullah to replace him as Prime Minister, he said Abdullah was known as “Mr Clean”.

To a question about some of those with Umno blaming Dr Mahathir for tearing down the party, he said that sometimes it might be necessary to do so.

“I’m a doctor; if one leg is becoming gangrenous I remove it,” he said.





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