Monday, May 19, 2008

Mahathir quits Umno, his son Mukhriz stays, and Najib told Umno members to stay calm.

*News update* 20/5/2008

Malaysian ruling party holds crisis talks after Mahathir quits

Malaysia's ruling party on Tuesday moved to contain the damage from former premier Mahathir Mohamad's shock resignation, which it fears may trigger an exodus that could unseat the government.

Mahathir on Monday urged other members of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) to follow his lead by quitting the party to force the resignation of his successor, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

At an emergency meeting, UMNO lawmakers pledged their allegiance to Abdullah, who has faced mounting calls to take responsibility for March elections that produced the worst results in the party's history.

"Nobody has the right to use this dirty tactic to bring down a leader who was democratically elected. That is blackmailing the party," cabinet minister Nazri Aziz told reporters.

Nazri said the challenge was a "test of faith" for UMNO lawmakers and that none was planning to abandon the party which has dominated Malaysian politics since independence half a century ago.

Mahathir's son Mukhriz, who is a senior member of UMNO's influential youth wing, said Tuesday he would not be stepping down, in a move he conceded would disappoint his father.

He said he would instead continue to campaign for Abdullah's resignation from within UMNO, and that he had backing at the highest levels.

"My fear is that we will bring down the party if this leadership does not change," he told a press conference.

Senior voices in UMNO including Foreign Minister Rais Yatim urged Mahathir and Abdullah, who fell out soon after the succession took place in 2003, to meet and resolve their damaging row.

"The next few weeks would be crucial on how many would follow his footsteps. There is this need now... to act systematically so that UMNO will not disintegrate," Rais said in Singapore late Monday.

"I wish to say that for those who just want to say that it's OK, business as usual, those shouldn't be the words."

Top UMNO members and political commentators have warned that if the beleaguered party suffers mass resignations, Abdullah will be forced to call fresh elections.

With the opposition in control of five states and a third of parliamentary seats after the March 8 polls, and now claiming it has the support of enough defectors to seize power shortly, that is considered a high-risk strategy.

Share prices on the Malaysian bourse fell 1.0 percent Tuesday, as the political concerns dampened sentiment.

"People are worried about the potential fallout from Mahathir's resignation," said N. Kaladher, head of research at TA Securities. "We are looking at a down trend until this thing settles down."

Opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim, who was sacked by Mahathir in 1998 and subsequently jailed on corruption and sex charges, seized on the disarray within UMNO to pronounce that the party was in its death throes.

"Mahathir's decision to leave UMNO is indicative of UMNO's worsening crisis, where leaders continue to bicker and fight, while the welfare of ordinary Malaysians are increasingly neglected," he said in a statement.

"The internal problems of UMNO are clearly deteriorating beyond any hope of recovery," he said, inviting the disaffected to join his opposition alliance.

Agence France-Presse

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Reported Yesterday 19/5/2008

Former Umno president Dr Mahathir Mohamad has quit Umno with immediate effect and urged other members to emulate him. He said he was quitting the party, which he led for almost 22 years until handing over the reins to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2003, as a sign of no confidence in his successor's leadership.

"I will only come back to the party when there is a change in leadership," the ex-premier told a crowd at a forum in his home state of Kedah this morning. He also called on all Umno ministers, deputy ministers and all levels of party leaders to join him in leaving the party.

However he asked these members not to join any other party. "Wait till Abdullah to quit as the prime minister and party president and then we can return to Umno," he said. Meanwhile in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak expressed his shock and sadness over Mahathir's resignation from Umno.

I was reported that Najib, while expressing shock and sadness over Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's resignation from Umno, urged Umno members to remain calm, saying he would continue to discuss with party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on efforts to strengthen the party.

Her also said it was crucial that the Barisan Nasional government, which had been given the mandate to rule by the people, continue to perform its responsibility as mandated by the rakyat and not be affected by Umno's internal issues.

Reading from a statement here, when meeting Malaysian journalists attending the "World Economic Forum on the Middle East", Najib, who is also deputy prime minister, advised Umno members to continue to have faith in the efforts to rebuild the party.

"I am very shocked and sad that Dr Mahathir has announced his decision to leave Umno. He has contributed a lot to the party and country. I have met with Tun before this and I am willing to meet him to discuss his latest action." Najib noted that previously any problems were resolved within Umno.

"Umno is a party which is sacred to the Malays and has been the backbone of the Malay struggle for a long time and will be so in the future. I will continue to discuss with party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on efforts to strengthen the party and also on the transfer of party leadership as expressed by the president himself." Najib is scheduled to return to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning.

ends

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

hahahhaha...good riddance. What is so funny is that he said he'll come back to umno if pak lah goes...what makes him so sure, he'll be accepted back. hahaha. wrong move Tun...Now u and sanusi can join Ibrahim Ali.

Anonymous said...

A current MP should vacate his seat now. Let MM stand as independent. It should be strictly MM vs BN. No other candidates. MM will win, for sure.
The fun will start when MM is in parliament. Oh, I could now see him
chewing some ministers nuts. Nazri
and Zahid will be the first two!!

We need somebody like him in parliament to whack the govt. AND
the opposition when they go off the track.

straycat's strut said...

Najib... your da man. First you told us to change our lifestyes and then now you told us to calm down.

Thank you for the comforting words. I spent the whole week watching AF, Gangstarz, Akademi Nashid and Sure Heboh. With that dose of drugs, I am sure I, a malay, will die calmly and with sopan santun.

Look, the only person we could look up to at this point is Tun. We have a deaf dumb and blind at the wheel, there is an enemy at the gate, a traitor is about to sell us to the highest bidder and you are telling us to calm down?

Come on, you aint there to be a coward...

tak suka cina tonto said...

I`m Leaving UMNO and joining PAS in support of Negara Islam and Hudud Law

Support Najib to be our next PM said...

Pak Lah should give way to Najib now and everything will be okay. Najib is a born PM, just look at his head it is big enough and also with the high botak like Lee Kwan Yew. His big body also make him look like a big boss like the former Germany Chancellor Hermal Khor. With a big head and a big body this is just the perfect looking PM for Malaysia. Najib is very able leader whom I would say the best Malay leader to date. He help to negotiate for our 1st space men when we buy the jet from Russia, see? He always think for Malaysian and make us Melayu proud. With Najib as PM I think just give him two term and he will make our economy as strong as South Korea and 3 term will make it as strong as UK. He will protect our Melayu race and the non-Melayu will be afraid of us and should work to feed us under Najib so that we Melayu will be the champion race in our motherland. He also got a beautiful wife, so much better looking than his 1st wife. This will also make Malaysian proud when they go oversea shopping. Najib will make Mahathir happy and sure Tun will join UMNO back. I already can see the BN winning 95% of the seat back if Najib is the president of UMNO.

daniel said...

Tun M's decision is nothing more like a baby crying for attention. But a smart one at that, with Mukhriz so called "betraying" him it was actually a strategy in diguise. Great. Now the Mahathir family can work both ways to topple Pak Lah, Mahathir from outside umno and mukhriz from the inside. Smart indeed. Another new pakatan anak beranak in the making. For what purpose? It is anybody's guess.

A Voice said...

Leave Pak Lah leave!

You are just tooo bloody incompetent for anyone's own good.

You've messed up this country bad in just a short span of time.

Frankly anyone but him (and his men) will do fine.

Anak Malaysia said...

Pasquale,

Dulu kamu cakap Karpal Singh tak fasih cakap Bahasa Melayu.

Cuba tengok klip ni: http://tinyurl.com/68y72x

Bagus aper BM dia.