Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mahathir using dirty tactics -

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz briefs the press on the prime minister's meeting with the Umno members of Parliament.

Mukhriz defies dad's call to quit, will fight PM within Umno - NST

By June Ibrahim


Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is not following his father former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad out of Umno. But the first-term MP for Jerlun said he was not backing Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Umno president.

“My friends and I are of the opinion that the prime minister should relinquish all three positions held by him which are the post of prime minister, Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairman immediately,” he told a packed press conference at a hotel here today. “This is the decision that I have made for now. I will not hesitate to change this decision if things do not change for the better in due time,” he said.

Mukhriz reiterated that his father’s decision to resign from the party was because he loved Umno.

“I also believe that there are many ways to skin a cat, hence I am announcing that I will stay on in Umno, as the parliamentarian for Jerlun and an Umno member. I will be loyal to the party as a member but I will be a strong voice that will criticise the deficiency of the party’s leadership,” he said, reading from a press statement in Bahasa Malaysia.

He claimed several other members have given Abdullah an ultimatum, that is to quit all three positions before the branch elections start in July.

On whether his father Dr Mahathir welcomed his decision to stay on in the party, Mukhriz replied: “My father is unaware of my decision. I have yet to speak with him and tell him about this.

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Live bullet sent to Karpal -

DAP leader and member of Parliament Karpal Singh received a live bullet in an envelope at his law firm in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

The live bullet was accompanied with a note warning him against speaking out on the controversial issues of Malay rights and the constitutional powers of the sultans.

Federal Territories Ministry Will Not Be Abolished - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 (Bernama) -- The Dewan Rakyat was Tuesday told that the Federal Territories (FT) Ministry will not be abolished because its establishment was under an act of Parliament.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique said the call for its dissolution by Wee Choo Keong (PKR-Wangsa Maju) because there was an overlap of functions with Kuala Lumpur City Hall, was not accurate.

"On the question of the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur being elected, it is a matter for the Housing and Local Government Ministry to consider. The FT Ministry has no say in this. It has to be brought up to the Cabinet for decision," he said when winding up debate for his ministry on the motion of thanks for the royal address.

His explanation was supported by Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) who interrupted and said : "If you (Wee) want to abolish the FT Ministry, wait until you become prime minister."


Umno MPs back Abdullah - The Sun

By Giam Say Khoon

KUALA LUMPUR (May 20, 2008): Members of Parliament (MPs) from Umno today threw their support behind an embattled Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as party president and gave their assurance that they would not leave Umno.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz said the statement of support was made in a special one-hour meeting with Abdullah when the Parliament session broke for lunch, following the dramatic announcement yesterday by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to quit Umno, and his urging members who share his views on the leadership to do the same.

During the meeting, Sri Gading MP Mohamed Aziz represented all Umno MPs present in assuring Abdullah that they would remain with the party.

Said Mohd Nazri: "The departure of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will only make Umno stronger. This is not new and no one in Umno will want to see the party collapse."

He said 95% of the 78 MPs from Umno attended the meeting.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Umno vice-president, were abroad on official duty.

Mahathir's son, Datuk Mukhriz, who is Jerlun MP, was absent at the meeting. Nazri said the party did not want him to feel bad over his father's decision. Mukhriz held a press conference in the evening to announce that he would stay put in Umno.

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Opposition Wants Azalina Be Referred To Rights And Privileges Committee - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 (Bernama) -- Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was not only bombarded with questions by angry opposition lawmakers, but some even demanded that she be referred to the parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee for giving confusing answers in the Dewan Rakyat Tuesday.

The lawkers claimed that Azalina had discriminated against the five Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states with regards to tourism programmes.

The atmosphere became heated up when Azalina denied that her ministry had dropped tourism programmes in the five states after the March 8 general election, while actually, she said, the programmes had and would be carried out with active promotion by her ministry and Tourism Malaysia.

"In Kedah, the Visit Malaysia Year Go Green drive will be held from Aug 21 to 24, while in Kelantan, the Pesta Nasi 100 will run from July 9 to 11. This shows that the ministry still includes such events in the tourism calendar," she said in winding-up the debate for her ministry on the royal address.

However, some opposition lawmakers were unhappy with her answers and stood up several times to seek clarification but Azalina gave no way and continued with her winding-up speech.

The situation became even more heated up when Mohamed Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) suggested that Azalina be immediately referred to the parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee under Section 36 (12) of the Standing Order for giving confusing answers.

His motion was supported by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) who said: "The minister came to confuse this august House. This should not be allowed. That is why Section 36(12) needs to be amended for the first time as presently a minister can abuse the parliamentary privileges."

However, Mohamed Azmin's motion was rejected by Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee as he said, the minister had replied to the issues and queries and any disagreement did not require Azalina to be referred to the committee.

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The Sun Front Page (20/5)

Read this doc on Scribd: The Star Malaysia Cover (20 May 2008)

The nation’s FREE newspaper 30 sen for delivery to your doorstep MEMBER AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATIONS (MALAYSIA) 275,000 COPIES DAILY Award winning newspaper for public service reporting and opinion writing. No. 4515 PP 2644/12/2008 (020369) Tuesday May 20, 2008 TELLING IT AS IT IS Dr M quits Umno A LOR STAR: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced yesterday he was quitting Umno with immediate effect, and urged those who shared his views on Umno’s leadership to leave as well, but not to join another party The 82-year-old Mahathir said he was doing this as he had lost confidence in the party’s present leadership for failing to protect the interests and well-being of the Malays. “I am quitting Umno today,” he announced before 1,000 people, many of them Kedah Umno members, here. The former Umno president said he would only return as an Umno member after Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi resigned from the posts or was no longer the country’s top leader. “I will write a letter to Umno headquarters to inform that I had quit the party,” said Mahathir, who was the prime minister and Umno president for 22 years. His announcement came three days after the government ordered the attorneygeneral to investigate him and five others over the appointment of judges while he was in power. He had said he was willing to be investigated and taken to court over the allegations. Addressing reporters after a function titled “Fate of the Malay Race”, organised by the Kedah Malay Assembly Hall, a visiblydisappointed Mahathir said he decided to leave Umno because he felt the party could no longer serve as a genuine political party to protect Malay rights and interests, Umno’s founding objectives. I will not ask people to do something that I myself dare not do.” – Mahathir inviting Umno members to leave the party but not to join another party. Expressing his dissatisfaction, Mahathir, who has been an Umno member since the party’s formative year in 1946, claimed Umno had now been made a party to merely recognise Abdullah as the Umno president and accord importance to the prime minister’s family interests, with the nation’s welfare taking a backseat. “I can list out the things that Abdullah had done to the detriment of our nation’s interests. The Umno of today no longer holds to the party’s founding goals when it was formed 62 years ago. That is why I have no hesitation whatsoever to leave the party,” said Mahathir, who was expelled from Umno in 1969 for breaching party discipline when he criticised the then party leadership led by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. He was readmitted into Umno in 1972. Mahathir invited Umno members, who shared his stand on the current Umno leadership, to leave the party but not to join another party. “I believe this way will be effective. I will not ask people to do something that I myself dare not do,” he said. He also reiterated his disappointment over Umno members being prevented by the party leadership from meeting him. “Even to meet them, Umno members and division leaders are not allowed to see me. What is this?” he asked. He said the Umno leadership’s action had only created more dissatisfaction and had portrayed Umno as undemocratic. Those who love party will not leave: Abdullah by Maria J. Dass KUALA LUMPUR: Expressing surprise over Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s decision to quit Umno, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he hoped Umno members realise the importance of staying loyal to the party to ensure it is strong enough to continue its struggles. Addressing Mahathir’s call to members to follow him out of the party, Abdullah said: “I wouldn’t know what other members would do, but I believe they won’t leave the party because they care and love Umno, that’s what I know. They want to be Umno members, they want Umno to be strong … there’s no reason, no logic for them to leave Umno.” » Turn to Page 2 » Turn to Page 2 UTUSAN PIX Bone of 0-31 n pg3 contentio » China mourns pg14 » Lingam tape report – minus the thunder pg4 news without border

Ku Li: I’ll stay to fight Abdullah - The Star

By Nik Khusairy Ibrahim

ALOR STAR: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah will remain in Umno to challenge Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the party presidency and also to clean up the party.

The Gua Musang MP also said he would never form a pact with the Opposition to set up a new government even if Umno was battered by internal conflict.

“I have my own party. Why must I quit the party? I will remain in the party to challenge the president (Abdullah) and will fight to clean up the party,” he said yesterday after opening a gathering organised by the Kedah Malay Unity Organisation.

He said he had no plan to work out a pact with Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“I am not in contact with Anwar. There is no reason for me to form a pact with the Opposition,” he added.

Razaleigh said he was shocked by Dr Mahathir quitting the “new Umno” that he formed 21 years ago.

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Nik Aziz happy with Dr M’s move - The Star

By Ian McIntyre

KOTA BARU: Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was the “happiest politician alive” after he was told that former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had decided to leave Umno.

Nik Aziz, who is also PAS spiritual adviser, however opened the door for Dr Mahathir to join the Islamist party because he was a strong leader with principles and a sharp mind, which would be beneficial to PAS.

However, he said it was not a formal invitation but Dr Mahathir should join PAS of his own accord.

He said the news would rejuvenate PAS members and “inspire” Umno members to leave, as the party was no longer relevant.

He said Dr Mahathir should have left Umno a long time ago and chosen Islam as the platform for his political struggle.

He said he admired Dr Mahathir for his intelligence and comforting speeches but the problem was that he followed secularism governance.

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PAS man lit the ‘resignation’ fuse - The Star

ALOR STAR: The man who challenged Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to quit Umno is actually PAS member Ismail Wan Teh.

Ismail was wearing a non-governmental organisation’s hat when he asked Dr Mahathir if he would be willing to quit Umno as a sign of protest against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership.

Ismail, the Kedah Citizens’ Action Group deputy chairman, asked the question based on Dr Mahathir’s call to Umno members to resign en masse as a show of no-confidence in Abdullah.

Ismail asked if Dr Mahathir were willing to quit, as it would have a major impact on Umno.

Dr Mahathir who was probably not aware that Ismail was a PAS member, said it sounded like a challenge.

“I will leave Umno until Abdullah’s leadership is ended,” he said.

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'Quitting may well reflect his guilt' - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed is ruining the party which kept him in power for 22 years, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh said.

The Bukit Gelugor member of parliament said Dr Mahathir was "unabashedly" showing his true colours.

"He has brought upon himself the ominous act of resigning from Umno with a view, obviously, to destabilise the government of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"Dr Mahathir has shown that he is incapable of becoming a statesman. He has been and remains a gutter politician."

Karpal said Dr Mahathir, identified by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip as one of six personalities to be investigated, was the Barisan Nasional chairman and prime minister at the time the alleged offences were committed.

"He should be brave enough to remain an Umno member until he clears his name. Dr Mahathir should not panic and desert his party now.

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