Monday, March 10, 2008

Umno And Other BN Component Parties Support Abdullah - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, MARCH 10 (Bernama) -- Umno and other Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties today unequivocally voiced full support for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister and Umno president.

Umno deputy president and deputy BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the stand was very important to maintain confidence in the country, especially investor confidence as well as helping Umno face new challenges.

"Therefore, trust and confidence in the Umno leadership is very important. As such, the Umno supreme council hopes there will not be any more doubt about Umno's top leadership or any speculation or effort to change leadership or any action that does not reflect the desire of the supreme council," he said at a press conference after a BN Supreme Council meeting here.

The BN Supreme Council meeting was held after the Umno Supreme Council meeting at Menara Datuk Onn of the Putra World Trade Centre here.

Najib said the same matter had been raised at the BN Supreme Council meeting chaired by Abdullah, where all heads of the BN component parties had voiced unanimous support for Abdullah as Prime Minister and BN Chairman.

Najib said he had very good relations with Abdullah as Umno president and Prime Minister and it was the desire of the supreme council to see the good relations maintained.

"When there is unity, leadership and trust, the party will be stronger and more united," he said.

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NEP Ended In 1991, MAPEN In Place Now, Says Abdullah - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the issue of abolishing the New Economic Policy (NEP) raised by the opposition parties should not have come up as the policy ended in 1991.

Since then, the government has set up the National Economic Consultative Council (MAPEN) to be responsible for planning the development of the country's economy.

"Through MAPEN, many policies had been agreed upon for implementation by the government and among the policies were two policies taken from the NEP, with one being the overall eradication of poverty irrespective of race, and the second dealt with distribution," he said at a press conference after chairing the Umno Supreme Council and Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting here today.

Abdullah was replying to questions on plans by the opposition parties, which won several state governments in the recent election, to abolish the NEP.

He said the government would continue to holistically carry out its poverty eradication programmes considering that hard core poverty still existed.

"We have continued to implement the programmes until today as poverty still exist including hardcore poverty even if the percentage has been reduced significantly from the past.

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PM Reiterates Khairy Has No Influence On Him - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today reiterated strongly that Khairy Jamaluddin had never been an influence in whatever he has done or decision he has made.

"Khairy is not an influence in whatever I do. He's the Umno Youth vice-head, and he has his idea about anything.

"There may be some coincidence that he speaks about the same policy and not because the policy is what he has promoted, it's a policy of the government," the Prime Minister told newsmen at the Umno Headquarters, here.

He added that as an Umno member, it was a duty for Khairy to know policies of the government and talk about it.

"It doesn't mean that when we talk about the policy, it means that it's the policy he suggested," he said when commenting on a statement made by his predecessor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday alleging that Khairy was responsible for the major defeat suffered by Barisan Nasional (BN) in the just-concluded general election.

The Umno president said what happened to Khairy was due to the misperception based on the fact that the latter was the son-in-law of the Prime Minister.

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Mukhriz Says He's All For Abdullah As PM - Bernama

BUTTERWORTH, March 10 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth executive committee member Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir today expressed his full support for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to lead the nation as Prime Minister.

"I will support any action that will gain confidence towards the prime minister," Mukhriz, who is also MP for Jerlun, said at a packed news conference.

He said this amid rumours that he had called for a news conference to call for the resignation of the prime minister following Barisan Nasionals shocking defeat in the just-ended general election.

Some 500 people, including Umno Youth leaders from the northern zone, attended the news conference which was scheduled to be held at Sunway Hotel but was later moved to Pearl View Hotel.

"The SMS is not true that I'm calling for someone's resignation.

I know there were SMS going round stating that I would do so. I'm not sure who was the culprit behind it," he said. "I 've been receiving many calls and SMS expressing many views.

What is apparent to me is that there is a sense of loss among Umno and Barisan Nasional members because it has been an unmitigated situation that we are faced with, unprecedented in many ways.

"We have never lost that many states, so it is a wake-up call definitely," said Mukhriz.

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Abdullah sworn in as Malaysia PM - Agencies

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Malaysian prime minister, has been sworn in for a second five-year term, rejecting calls to resign after the ruling coalition's worst-ever election performance.

"I pledge to carry out my duties honestly and with all my abilities," he said, reading out the oath on Monday as he was sworn in by Malaysia's king.

"I pledge to protect and uphold the constitution."

The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has ruled Malaysia since the country gained independence half a century ago, retained a simple majority in Saturday's polls, but suffered unprecedented losses to a loose opposition coalition.

The loss of seats also broke the BN's hold on two-thirds of the parliamentary majority which enabled to amend the constitution without debate.

On Monday, Malaysian stocks dived six per cent to a seven-month low with the ringgit also falling as the market reacted to the political uncertainty following the coalition's heaviest election losses in 50 years.

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