Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dr M issues ‘kick me out’ dare - The Malaysian Insider

By Debra Chong

PETALING JAYA, May 31 ─ Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued to challenge Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today, this time daring the government to remove him as advisor to several government bodies.

At a press conference after delivering his keynote address at the "Suntikan Semangat Satria" (Injecting a Knightly Spirit) forum here, organised by the Minda Melayu Kreatif, Kelab Cinta Amanah Melayu and Arena PJS 14, Dr Mahathir said he was ready to quit as advisor to four government organisations.

"They can take away my position as advisor (to Petronas). I'm not dependent on them, not even if they give me RM15,000 a month. I'm not interested. I didn't even ask for it to begin with.

"I'm also advisor to Proton, Langkawi (Development Authority) and Tioman (Island Development Authority). If they say, 'Get out', I'll get out. No problem ... but I'd prefer it if they kicked out me out," he smiled.

Dr Mahathir was also asked to comment on his son Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, who has also quit Umno and was asked to step down as chairman of the Sepang International Circuit by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob, apparently because the position was a government appointment.

Dr Mahathir, however, refused to take the bait and said that it was his son's decision to make.

On whether he thought Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor, who a few days ago had applied to return to Umno, was a "Trojan horse for PKR", the former prime minister smiled broadly and said that “in politics, anything is possible; what I do know is that Anwar is quite anxious to be supported by Umno", referring to the latter's bid to become prime minister by Malaysia Day, which falls on Sept 16.

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PM announces benefits for Sabah - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kicked off his two-day visit to Sabah by bringing good news to the people of the state.

The Prime Minister's "Kaamatan gift" covered a range of areas, many of which are seen by the people in the state as urgently needed to solve problems faced by Sabah and the neighbouring state of Sarawak.

He made the announcement during a press conference after meeting with Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders and civil servants Saturday.

Abdullah said many of the issues were raised during his visit to the state on April 7.

"We in the Federal government have considered the request made and acting upon it,” he said, adding that they needed to be done step by step.

Among the most significant were abolishing of the Sabah Federal Development Department (JPPS) which had come under a lot of criticism. The Sabah State Development Office will take its place.

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Dr M Likens Ezam's Action As frog - Bernama

PETALING JAYA, May 31 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has described the move by former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth chief Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor to rejoin Umno as that of a "frog".

The former prime minister said it was not impossible for Mohamad Ezam to do it again as he had left Umno before and joined PKR.

He also believed that Mohamad Ezam could be a "stepping stone" for PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to rejoin Umno.

"Anwar uses Ezam to rejoin Umno because he (Anwar) is aware that one of the way he could become the prime minister is to have Umno support.

"As such, whatever means to get Umno support will be done by Anwar. Therefore, be careful when Ezam jumps into Umno," he said at the "Suntikan Semangat Satria" (Injecting Hero Spirit) programme here Saturday.

On his son, Datuk Mukhriz (MP for Jerlun) becoming more outspoken of late, Dr Mahathir said, "If politicians can criticise before, why not now?"

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FUEL-BUYING FRENZY AT BORDER: Thai motorists start crossing over at 7am - NST

RANTAU PANJANG: Thai motorists are rushing to fill up at petrol stations along the border area although the government had postponed the ruling which prohibits them from filling up their vehicles' tanks with subsidised fuel to Monday.

Many Thais apparently did not know about the decision and thought that yesterday was the last day they were allowed to buy subsidised diesel in Malaysia.

A check at the border yesterday showed that people were coming from as far away as north Thailand and they had crossed over to Kelantan as early as 7am. Their number had swelled to 800 by afternoon.

Members of the General Operations Force (GOF) and officers from the State Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs were here to keep an eye on the situation, especially at the town's four petrol stations.

However, despite their presence, quarrels have been reported between motorists and petrol station operators.

A spokesman of the state Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs said the quarrels were the result of a misunderstanding.

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Put politics aside, says Tan - The Star

By Teh Eng Hock

PETALING JAYA: A defiant Federal Territory Gerakan chief Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong called on those who had asked him to resign for taking up a post in Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor to rise above politics.

He said with many issues currently troubling the people, it was time to rise above political interests for the greater good of the country.

Dr Tan, who was issued a show-cause letter by his party for taking up the post as co-chairman of Selangor’s special task force on land issues, said he had yet to decide whether to reply to the letter.

He told The Star that he fully understood the implications of the letter.

“As a former vice-president, I have previously taken part in many disciplinary actions, including sending out show cause letters.

“I have until June 7 to respond. I have not decided (whether to reply),” he said.

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