Monday, May 19, 2008

Mahathir quits Umno -

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad quits Umno. He made the announcement in Alor Star during a talk Monday.

PM shocked by Dr M's decision -

Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was shocked by his predecessor's decision to quit the party but will not meet him personally to ask him to reconsider the decision.

Dr M quits Umno after accepting ‘dare’ to be first to resign - NST

By : Noor Adzman Baharuddin & Adib Povera


After goading Umno members today to temporarily resign from Umno as a sign of protest against the party president, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took up a “dare” to take the lead by resigning from the party he had been a founding member of since 1946. However, he implored Umno members taking up his challenge not to join any other party and remain independent, at least until the Umno leadership was determined (after the December party elections). He indicated that he will only rejoin the party when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi steps down as Umno president.

Dr Mahathir, an Umno life member, was answering questions from the floor after giving a talk at a forum entitled 'Future of the Malays after the 12th General Election' at the Star City Hotel in Alor Star, organised by the Kedah Malay Assembly Hall, when a member of the audience asked him if he would take the lead in quitting Umno.

Identifying himself as Ismail Jaziz, he asked Dr Mahathir if he would take the lead since he had mooted the idea. To this, Dr Mahathir, in a serious tone said: “Waa, saya di cabar ni…(looks like I have been dared). Yes, I will leave Umno...until the party leadership is determined. Other Umno members should follow me.”

Loud cheers erupted from the 1,500 attendees, which included assembly chairman Tan Sri Khalid Ahmad, Jerlun Umno division chairman Datuk Abdul Rahman Ariffin, State Assemblyman for Kuala Nerang Datuk Syed Sobri Syed Hashim, State Assemblywoman for Sungai Tiang Suraya Yaacob and former Kedah Menteri Besar Tan Sri Sanusi Junid.

"Malays, Umno members and many other people have sent Abdullah messages to express dissatisfaction with his leadership, especially after the March 8 general election but he remains unaffected. We have to be radical and brave and this is the only way to bring him down," he said.

It is not immediately clear if his son, Datuk Mukhriz, also the MP for Jerlun and an Umno Youth Exco member, would follow suit. Another of Dr Mahathir’s son, Datuk Mokhzani, was reported as saying that his father's decision was a “sign of no confidence” in Abdullah’s leadership.

[More at]

I Will Continue To Discuss Umno Leadership Transition With Party President - Najib - Bernama

From Abdul Muin Abdul Majid

SHARM-EL-SHEIKH (Egypt), May 19 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he would continue to discuss with Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on efforts to strengthen the party and the issue of Umno's leadership transition, which had been touched on by Abdullah himself.

The Umno deputy president said he hoped all Umno members would remain calm following former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's sudden decision to quit Umno on Monday and urged them to have faith in the current leadership to reform the party.

Najib, who is also the chairman of Umno's management committe, said he had contacted Abdullah himself and several other leaders over the matter.

Speaking to Malaysian journalists covering his attendance at the World Economic Forum for the Middle East here, he said he was shocked and saddened by the decision by Dr Mahathir.

"Tun Dr Mahathir's contributions to Umno and the country are immeasurable," he said.

Dr Mahathir, who joined Umno in 1946, announced the quit decision at a political function in Alor Star.

[More at]

Opposition Stunned By Dr M's Sudden Decision To Quit Umno - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (Bernama) -- Leaders of opposition parties were startled by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's sudden decision to resign from Umno today but welcomed it.

In KOTA BAHARU, PAS spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said although it caught him by surprise, he was the most happy by the decision as it would give PAS greater impetus to widen its political influence.

The Kelantan Menteri Besar said he respected Dr Mahathir as a statesman who was respected worldwide and a great leader who brought much progress for the nation.

Speaking to reporters at his residence in Pulau Melaka, Kota Baharu, Nik Abdul Aziz said he held Dr Mahathir in high esteem for standing up to the West over the issue of Palestine and Israel for the problems in the Middle East.

He added that PAS would welcome him if he were to join the party as his knowledge and experience could help bring it to even greater heights.

In PENANG, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Dr Mahathir's decision to quit Umno would be a gigantic political earthquake besetting the party after the political tsunami of March 8.

[More at]

BN Component Leaders' Reaction To Dr Mahathir's Announcement - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (Bernama) -- Several Barisan Nasional (BN) component leaders gave different reactions to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's announcement on Monday that he is quitting Umno.

MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said Dr Mahathir's decision would not help Umno and the BN. He hoped Dr Mahathir would reconsider the decision quit because the BN was facing various challenges, he said.

Ong who is Housing and Local Government Minister said he was sad over Dr Mahathir's surprise move. "We do not want more problems or to cause problems," he said.

"Our country needs stability and not uncertainties. His decision will trigger adverse pressures on the people and foreign investors," he told reporters in Ipoh.

MCA vice president Datuk Ong Tee Keat said he hoped UMNO would able to resolve and handle the current situation following Dr Mahathir announcement.

Gerakan vice-president Datuk Chang Ko Youn said he felt Dr Mahathir's decision to quit Umno was "a bit too hasty".

"In my opinion, it is not good for the BN. Any unhappiness, he should settle it within Umno," he told Bernama.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, meanwhile, refused to comment on Dr Mahathir's move because, he said, it was Umno's internal problem.

[More at]

No Intention To Quit Umno, Says Tengku Razaleigh - Bernama

ALOR STAR, May 19 (Bernama) -- Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said he would not follow Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's decision of quitting Umno although he opined that it might be a good decision to make Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi realise.

The Gua Musang Member of Parliament said he had no intention of leaving Umno and would contest the party president's post in December.

"If I quit the party, I can't contest the post," he told reporters after attending a gathering organised by the Kedah Malays Unity Organisation, here Monday.

Tengku Razaleigh said he sympathised with Dr Mahathir who had to quit the party in what he regarded was a sad situation.

"Dr Mahathair should not have made that decision, but what to do? He must have felt that there was no better way than to quit the party."

Tengku Razaleigh said he believed that Dr Mahathir made that decision because he was very angry with Abdullah for refusing to step down after repeatedly being told to do so.

[More at]

Majority Of Umno Members Will Remain Loyal To My Leadership, Says Abdullah - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says he will not give in to pressure by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to resign as prime minister and Umno president.

The prime minister said he was confident the majority of Umno members would continue to remain loyal with the present leadership.

Abdullah, in his reaction to the former prime minister's sudden announcement Monday that he was quitting Umno with immediate effect, however admitted that his predecessor's decision would have some impact on Umno, with some members following Dr Mahathir's move to leave the party.

"I hope the majority of Umno members will continue to remain loyal to Umno as it had contributed immensely to the Malays, the country and all the races," he told reporters after launching MSC Malaysia Sarawak Initiative at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Abdullah, who was shocked over the sudden announcement by Dr Mahathir, who has been an Umno member since its formative year in 1946, hoped party members would remain calm in facing the latest development in Umno, the backbone of the Barisan Nasional (BN).

"I was shocked when I heard Tun's decision...I think when Tun has made a decision, he doesn't care anymore," he said.

[More at]

Dr M, Sanusi quit Umno - The Star

ALOR STAR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and veteran party man Tan Sri Sanusi Junid announced Monday that they are quitting Umno.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced this on Monday at 12.35pm, citing a lack of confidence in the current leadership.

"I am quitting Umno today," he told about 1,000 people, mostly Kedah Umno members, at a talk here on Monday.

"I will write a letter to Umno headquarters to inform that I have quit the party," he said.

He has been critical of his appointed successor Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, blaming the current Umno president for the party's disappointing performance in the 12th general election.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, of which Umno is the largest component party, won the March 8 election with a simple majority, and saw four more states join Kelantan under Opposition rule.

Dr Mahathir urged other party members to quit too, as a way of pressuring Abdullah into vacating his post.

[More at]

Duri dalam daging sudah terkeluar - Musa Hitam - Utusan

KUALA LUMPUR 19 Mei – Bekas Timbalan Presiden UMNO, Tun Musa Hitam menyifatkan tindakan Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad meninggalkan UMNO bererti ‘duri dalam daging sudah terkeluar’.

Walaupun mengakui sedih dan berdukacita dengan tindakan Dr. Mahathir itu, tetapi katanya, ia memberikan peluang kepada pucuk pimpinan memperkukuhkan kembali parti.

“Saya berasa sedih dan dukacita mendengar berita Dr. Mahathir keluar daripada UMNO, lebih lagi dalam waktu UMNO menghadapi keadaan yang sangat-sangat mencabar sekarang.

“Bagaimanapun, ahli-ahli UMNO harus menerimanya dengan hati terbuka dan tenang, tentu ada hikmahnya di sini, duri dalam daging sudah terkeluar,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian melalui satu sistem pesanan ringkas (SMS) kepada Utusan Malaysia, di sini hari ini.

[More at]

Dr M's Quit Decision Draws Varied Reaction - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (Bernama) -- The sudden decision by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to quit Umno today has received all kinds of reaction with many saying it would not help resolve the problems the party is currently facing.

Tourism Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said said apart from not helping improve the situation in Umno it would give the opposition "more ammunition".

"The prolems in Umno should be seen as a "family matter" and resolved in the family spirit," she said in a statement here.

Dr Mahathir announced his quit decision at a lunchtime gathering with about 1,000 Kedah Umno members in Alor Star and said that he would only return to Umno if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badwai steps down as the prime minister and Umno president.

In KANGAR, the Perlis Umno liaison committee urged Dr Mahathir to reconsider his decision.

Its information head Datuk Hashim Suboh said if there were weaknesses in the party, these were leadership problems and not the fault of the party, which Dr Mahathir had built to be strong and respected.

"The grassroots gave the party leadership and the government a clear message in the March 8 general-election and efforts to rehabilitate Umno has started.

"As such Tun (Dr Mahathir) should not run away but continue with his fight to put Umno back on the right footing," said Hashim, who is also Kangar Umno deputy chief.

He added that if Abdullah was the problem, it was better to let the party's processes to take their course.


Jaminan kerajaan pertahan Raja - Utusan

KAHERAH 19 Mei – Kerajaan memberi jaminan akan terus mempertahankan kedudukan Raja-Raja, orang Melayu, agama Islam dan bahasa Malaysia seperti yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menegaskan, tiada sesiapa termasuk pemimpin politik berhak mempermain-mainkan keistimewaan itu.

Sambil menyifatkan keempat-empat perkara itu sebagai `sendi' dan `tiang seri' kepada Malaysia, beliau berkata, peruntukan seperti itu tidak seharusnya dipersoal atau dipolitikkan.

Beliau menarik perhatian ini kerana ada kecenderungan akhir-akhir ini di kalangan sesetengah pihak mempersoalkan perkara yang sepatutnya tidak boleh dan tidak patut dipertikaikan oleh sesiapa sekalipun.

``Janganlah sesiapa cuba mempermainkan perkara seperti ini kerana ia boleh mencetuskan sesuatu yang tidak diingini dalam negara kita.

``Kerajaan yang ada hari ini akan tetap mempertahankan peruntukan yang sudahpun termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Malaysia," katanya.

[More at]

Malaysia ex-PM quits ruling party - Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday he had quit the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), media reported, a move that could weaken the ruling coalition.

The Star newspaper, which reported the announcement in its text service, gave no details.

Mahathir, a staunch critic of his hand-picked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, announced the resignation three days after the government ordered the attorney-general to investigate him and five others over the appointment of judges while he was in power.

Analysts said Mahathir, who ruled the country for 22 years until 2003, was apparently upset over the allegations.

"His departure can bring harm to UMNO and weaken PM's leadership," said political analyst Yahya Ismail.

Mahathir said at the weekend he was willing to be investigated and taken to court over the allegations.


Malays are not losing political power, says Mat Taib - The Star

SELAMA: The issue of Malays losing political power in the country should not arise as the people have given the mandate to Barisan Nasional to lead the country, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said.

The Umno information chief said the people had picked Barisan, which comprises Umno, MCA and MIC and other parties.

“As long as the power is given by the people, we will carry it out. The matter of disintegrating Malay leadership should not arise at all because the people have given the (leadership) power to the ruling party,” he said Sunday in Bagan Bharu, Selama, in Perak.

Muhammad Taib was commenting on a statement made by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said that the Malays' grip on political power had been loosened to a point where non-Malays no longer respected them and their institutions.

“Even though Barisan Nasional has lost in a few states, it does not mean the people no longer supported Barisan to lead the country,” said Muhammad Taib.

[More at]

Govt ‘not muzzling media’ - The Star

By Hah Foong Lian

LUMUT: Police probes into several newspapers for publishing the Royal Commission of Inquiry report on the V.K. Lingam video clip before it was made public is not aimed at curbing press freedom, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said.

“The Government has the right to protect certain classified information before making a public disclosure,” he said Sunday after closing a Lumut Umno convention here, about 90km from Ipoh.

He said the commission was set up by the Government and that its findings would eventually be made public.

However, he said it would be proper for the findings to go to the Cabinet first before being made public.

He cautioned that there could be other government secrets such as matters pertaining to security and military that could have been leaked to the public.

“We don’t know where the leak is. It could be from the journalists who used their investigative intuition or the printers or the officers involved,” he said.

[More at]