Tuesday, April 1, 2008

In The Line Of Fire: Step down, Dr M tells Abdullah

Malaysia's Mahathir urges PM Abdullah to resign
KUALA LUMPUR, April 1, 2008 (AFP) - Veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday urged Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign following disastrous election results. Abdullah, also president of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), is facing increasing calls to quit from party leaders. "I ask (Abdullah) to resign," the former prime minister, who ruled Malaysia for 22 years, told a gathering of at least 2,000 UMNO members. The focus of the meeting was to analyse the March 8 election results but it turned out to be a platform to demand Abdullah's resignation. UMNO members criticised Abdullah and the alleged influence son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin, who is a deputy leader of the powerful UMNO youth wing, has over him in decision-making. "Anyone else would have already resigned but (Abdullah) has no shame," Mahathir, who picked Abdullah to succeed him October 2003, told a cheering crowd. Mahathir said Abdullah had ignored the will of the people, while the veteran's son, Mukhriz, a lawmaker, echoed the call for Abdullah to go. "To bring about (reform), the top leadership has to be held responsible. The prime minister must gracefully withdraw," Mukhriz said. He urged UMNO members to speak out and not be intimidated. "Be brave, if you love your country and speak out," he said. "We have been told to keep quiet but I ask you now to stand by my side." Abdullah, 68, has claimed a mandate to rule despite unprecedented election losses, but observers say he is on borrowed time. Senior lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had said he would challenge Abdullah's leadership if he received enough support. Source: AFP via Yahoo! News - http://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/afp/20080401/tap-malaysia-politics-umno-0193655.html

Malaysia ruling party dissidents launch frontal attack on enfeebled prime minister - (AP) Ruling party dissidents in Malaysia launched a scathing attack Tuesday on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, saying there is "something very wrong" with his leadership following disastrous election losses last month. Led by former leader Mahathir Mohamad, about 2,000 party members gathered at a hotel conference room, in the most serious challenge to Abdullah's leadership since he took power in 2003. The meeting's agenda was to analyze the unprecedented losses suffered by the ruling National Front coalition in the March 8 general elections. But it turned into a free-for-all session to bitterly criticize the 68-year-old prime minister, who is watching his grip on power weaken despite claiming to have the full support of his United Malays National Organization party. It is the dominant component of the 14-party National Front. "I call on him to resign. Anyone else would have done so already, but he is shameless," Mahathir said. Mahathir accused Abdullah of failing to control rampant corruption, nepotism and cronyism at high levels, apparently referring to Abdullah's son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, who is believed to wield enormous influence in the government. – MORE
M'sia's ruling party dissidents launch attack on PM Abdullah - (Straits Times) KUALA LUMPUR - RULING party dissidents in Malaysia launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Tuesday, saying there is 'something very wrong' with his leadership following disastrous election losses last month. -- MORE

Mahathir, losing patience, turns sights on Najib
See Stories:
This morning's high-voltage meeting of Umno members in revolt. Click here
The Malaysian Insider's exclusive on messages sent to DPM: Why does Najib look so glum? Click here
KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today signaled that he was ready to withdraw his support for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as the next leader of Umno and Malaysia. The Malaysian Insider reported recently that the former prime minister sent an ultimatum of sorts to Najib through intermediaries, telling him that if he continued to support Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the party president, he too would find himself in the line of fire. Today, Dr Mahathir applied more pressure on Najib when he was asked a question on whether the latter was still capable of being a good successor now that he seemed to be Pak Lah’s “yes man’’. – MORE

March 10, 2008 : Step down, Dr M tells Abdullah
KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to take full responsibility for the Barisan Nasional's electoral setback and step down as the coalition leader.
He said that in 2004 when the BN scored a huge win, Abdullah claimed 100 per cent credit for it. "Now it is only fair that he takes 100 per cent responsibility for BN's poor showing by stepping down." -- MORE

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