Sunday, May 11, 2008

Umno Celebration Shows Party Is Relevant, Says Najib - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 (Bernama) -- This year's Umno anniversary celebration carries more meaning because it reflects that the party remains relevant, deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

He said Umno would continue to struggle for the interests and future of the Malays, while pursuing the cause to ensure harmonious living for Malaysians, regardless of their race and religion.

"We should not forget that everything that we enjoy today is made possible through the efforts made by Umno.

"We believe Umno will be able to continue with its excellent struggle as a an important instrument for the future of the Malays, the other races as well as the country," he told reporters after the 62nd anniversary celebration of the party at the Putra World Trade Centre, here today.

Asked on tomorrow's meeting of the Committee to Tackle Inflation, Najib, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said steps would be taken to check inflation, but it would depend on the government's financial capacity.

"However, we have the intention and desire to do everything within our means to help the people," he added.

Meanwhile, Umno Youth Chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said Umno's perception and image depended not only on its wings, but the party as a whole.

[More at]

Muhyiddin Denies He Will Contest Umno President Or Deputy President's Post - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 (Bernama) -- Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied that he will be contesting the party president or deputy president's post.

"No. I have not mentioned it (contesting the post)," he told reporters after a function to celebrate Umno's 62nd anniversary at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here today.

Muhyiddin, who is also International Trade and Industry Minister, made the denial in response to a front-page report in 'The Star' which said that he might go for one of the top two posts in the December party elections if he receives grassroot support.

In the report, he was quoted as saying that he had received a lot of feedback from the grassroots, advisers and proposers who told him that it was time for him to move up the party hierarchy.

Muhyiddin who had tried to avoid the reporters waiting for him at the PWTC but was cornered, said he had not made any decision with regards to his position in the party.

[More at]

Mukhriz: Make Commission report public - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Commission report on the Lingam videoclip should be made public as the people deserved to know the findings, said Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.

The Jerlun MP and Umno Youth exco member said it was necessary to be open because that what was people expected from the Government.

"I think it's the right of the people to understand what actually was in the report and I don't see any problem in making it public.

"The most important thing is transparency ... we should be open with the rakyat, particularly at this point in time," he told reporters on Sunday after attending the Umno 62nd anniversary celebrations at the Putra World Trade centre here.

To a question whether he had any reservations about the Lingam videoclip report being made public because the alleged wrong-doings occurred during his father's tenure as Prime Minister, Mukhriz said: "He (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) has got nothing to hide."

Mukhriz said Dr Mahathir had spoken about the matter many times and had testified as a witness during the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

[More at]

Malaysia to spend more on subsidies than development: PM - AFP

Malaysia says it will spend more money subsidising oil and gas this year than on developing the country with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi calling for a review of all major projects.

Abdullah said the government would spend 45 billion ringgit (14 billion dollars) on fuel subsidies this year, state news agency Bernama reported late Saturday.

This will exceed its annual 40 billion ringgit budget for major development and infrastructure projects under the country's ninth development plan.

"It is five billion ringgit more, we need to look for more money," Abdullah told the agency.

"As the government, we will try our best to ease this burden. We will not allow this problem to grow. We cannot wait and see any more. We have the political will to act to ease the burden on the people," he added.

Abdullah said with global oil prices hitting 124 dollars a barrel, the impact on Malaysians would be huge, Bernama reported.

[More at]

Muhyiddin says he’s ready to move up, slams quota system - The Star

By Paul Gabriel

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has come out with the strongest indication yet that he would be contesting one of the top two positions in the December party polls.

He said he had received a lot of feedback from “grassroots, advisers and proposers” who told him that it was time to move up the party hierarchy. As vice-president, “a move up” would mean a challenge for the deputy presidency or presidency.

The International Trade and Industry Minister, who hit out at the party's restrictive quota system which prevented members from contesting for posts without a specific number of nominations, said he would consider many things, including having to face “incumbents and the powers-that-be”, before making a decision.

”It is not an easy decision to make. But people say (to me): 'You have been vice-president for three terms. Now you have to look at something else'.

“I think I will make the right decision, hopefully, when the time comes,’’ he told The Star in an interview at his ministry office.

The 61-year-old Muhyiddin, who was first elected vice-president in 1993, described himself as an innovator and “someone who would not take things lying down.”

[More at]

Umno does not need to reinvent itself, says Razaleigh - The Star

By M. Veera Pandiyan

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is confident that the party will regain its support if leaders behave and govern the country fairly and justly.

Stressing that the party need not reengineer or reinvent itself, he said it was the excesses and arrogance of the leaders which caused anger and disgust among the people, leading them to vote any party except Umno.

In an interview with The Star, he said that if Umno was facing a crisis, it was one of “monumental significance”, not just to members and to Malays, but to the country.

“I cannot foresee the country without Umno. The Malays only know Umno and its allies. I cannot imagine how the Malays will behave or react without Umno on the scene,” he said.

Tengku Razaleigh said though some Malaysians greeted the results of the March 8 election results with euphoria in that it showed maturity in the thinking of the people, he took a different interpretation.

“It would have been different if Umno didn’t behave like that. Even if people had opted to go the multi racial make up of the PKR, for instance, they might have won some seats, but not to the extent of what they are enjoying now.”

[More at]

Raja Petra hopes to channel funds for bloggers’ defence - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin will propose that the donation collected for his bail be put into a Bloggers Defence Fund.

Raja Petra, 58, wrote in his blog yesterday that this was to ensure bloggers who were prosecuted would have financial support.

But he said this would be finalised only if the donors agreed to his proposal.

More than RM37,000, including US$4,330.10 (RM13,859.78) paid through Paypal, was collected following a call for donations on his website.


'Remember what Umno has done for you' - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Don't forget what Umno has done for you in the last 62 years.

And grassroots leaders should get realistic and stop lying about what is really happening on the ground.

That was the advice Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor gave at the Outstanding Malay Awards ceremony at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.

Forty-one Malays in the fields of education, agriculture, entreprenuership, non-governmental organisations, religion, arts and culture were given recognition for their contribution to the country in conjunction with Umno's 62nd anniversary.

Tengku Adnan said since the general election, some quarters had been calling for the prime minister to take responsibility and step down.

"They fail to realise that the prime minister is advised by the supreme council and we get feedback from branch chairmen and other grassroots leaders."

[More at]