Aug 8, 2006

PM Badawi goes on air to defend son, son-in-law

Maybe he should have a debate with Tun Mahathir.

** Interview transcript from Thestar

Extracted from BERNAMA
Kamaluddin, Khairy Never Get Govt Projects, Says Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Monday night denied his son, Kamaluddin, and son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, have benefited including getting government projects from his position as Prime Minister. (issues related to Tun Mahathir)

Abdullah said since becoming Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Kamaluddin and Khairy never abused the family ties to get government projects.

"Kamal (Kamaluddin) never misused his relations with me. Kamal was never involved in local companies or concessions. No. He never asked any help from the government. Never in anything that needs bail-out," said Abdullah, who took over the country's leadership from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the end of 2003.

Abdullah said this in a 40-minute interview with Bernama Chairman Datuk Mohd Annuar Zaini in the "Bersemuka Bersama Perdana Menteri" programme aired by TV3 Monday night.

Kamaluddin is the biggest shareholder in the oil and gas services company Scomi Group while Khairy owns a small interests in the investment bank ECM Libra Bhd.

Abdullah said Kamaluddin had to find projects overseas because he did not want to linked with his father.

"If people ask why go overseas, he (Kamaluddin) will say father (Abdullah) is the prime minister, it's difficult to earn a living locally. His contracts, his business, 80 per cent are from overseas. That is his livelihood," he said.

Abdullah also quashed rumours that Scomi had been awarded the monorail project in Penang.

On Khairy, he said his son-in-law took a loan to buy shares in ECM Libra.

"But, to say he grabbed projects, I've no evidence with me that Khairy has taken government projects," he said, adding that Khairy never met him to ask for projects.

Abdullah said he never interfered in his son-in-law's political career and Khairy's position as Umno Youth deputy chief was an elected post by the movement.

"I am being frank. I don't know if (Umno Youth chief) Hishammuddin (Tun Hussein) is angry with me. Hishammuddin says "the Youth has decided, I have decided, I want to nominate Khairy for Youth deputy head, Pah Lah don't disturb, this is Youth affairs," he added.

Excerpt from MalaysiaKini

His spat with ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad:

“Many people feel it’s better that I don’t talk. Many people told me not to talk, (it will) cause confusion. Don’t. Allowing the ministers to answer is enough.”

Corruption in his government:

“This is slander. If it is true, write letters to us. Let’s be courageous if it’s true. Say it out and we will take action. I want them to show evidence how this was done, the details, where the source of the evidence.”

His dilly-dallying on making major decisions:

“Sometimes we have to be careful. One thing I’ve learned since I became prime minister is that whatever I do, whether good or bad, will affect the people.

“If it’s bad, the consequence is bad. If it’s good, alhamdulillah (praise to God). I am worried if it goes wrong, many people will suffer.”

For being too ‘soft’:

“If what I am doing is right and fair, then there is firmness in my decision. No need to be ‘gung-ho’. I had made certain decisions which were very difficult for me, but I took it in my stride. No need to show it - that is my style,” he said.

“People say that I’m the type who has just gone into the football pitch for no more than 10 minutes and already I’m being criticised ... So how? It’s better to wait till we’re warmed up and are able to pick up the tempo.”

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