This is in bernama today.
General April 14, 2008 21:04 PM
Abdullah: ‘I Don’t Want To Leave Party In State Of Turmoil’
KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says he wants the power transition to his successor to be smooth as this is important for the country.
“I don’t want to leave the party in a state of turmoil but in a good, stable condition.
“I can say to (Deputy Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib (Tun Razak), ‘good luck, that’s your problem not mine.’ But that should not be the way. We don’t want it to be so sudden…where’s Pak Lah (Abdullah)? He has quit. That’s not the way,” Abdullah said.
The prime minister was speaking at a press conference after meeting with senators, members of parliament and state assemblymen from the Barisan Nasional at the Putra World Trade Centre here Monday.
“It was the same before, when (Tun) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) wanted to hand over power to me. That’s how we do things,” he said in response to calls from some Umno members for him to transfer the reins of power to his successor.
He said he received various views on the power transition, with some wanting it to be as soon as possible while others gave him more time.
“Never mind. I just listen. I have two ears. I am not deaf. In a democracy, everyone wants to talk. So what can we do? If we don’t allow them to speak out, they say we are scared… there’s no freedom, so let them talk,” added the Umno president.
Asked further on the power transition, Abdullah said it was only the view of some quarters and not all the grassroots.
On his meeting with Johor Umno last week, he said it was clear that they supported him as Umno president and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as deputy president in the December party election. He said after this, he and Najib would think about matters pertaining to the power transition.
Asked if he would go for the president’s post if there is a contest for the post, he shot: “Why shouldn’t I contest? You tell me.”
On Umno divisions holding their extraordinary general meeting, to discuss, among the matters, the nomination quota system and for an EGM to be held at the central level, he said they should follow the procedures if they wanted to hold it.
On the statements made by Umno vice-president Umno Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Abdullah said: “They can announce anything they want. They can say anything they want. The decision is mine, people can say anything they like.”
Rais was reported to have said that it was the party members’ right to ask Abdullah to step down as prime minister and Umno president or to announce a power transition.
Sunday, Muhyiddin was reported saying that Umno would fade away and not be able to make a comeback if there was no leadership change at the top.
Abdullah, meanwhile, said that he was confident of the support and loyalty of the BN MPs although the opposition had claimed that there would be a vote of no confidence against him at the coming parliamentary sitting.
Meanwhile, Najib said that what was important was for the power transition to be orderly.
“The prime minister will discuss this with me when the time comes so as to avoid any problems and for the party to remain strong.”
He said he was not the one to determine the power transition period, but it would depend on the prime minister’s wisdom to decide when it should take place and how it should be done.
Asked about him being given the chance to lead the party, Najib said: ” I will only answer when the time comes.”
On the sabotage among BN component parties in the recent general election, he said the issue should not be addressed in a hasty manner but to be investigated thoroughly for the facts and rationally before action could be taken.
He, however, admitted having received such reports.
hmmmmm… Why was there a turmoil? did ya lose control or something? alright… fire fighting time isn’t it?