Sep 14, 2006

Zaid: Govt must seriously take note of DrM's views and criticisms

Extracted from The Sun
Zaid: Govt must seriously take note of DrM's views and criticisms

Backbencher Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (BN-Kota Baru) says the government must seriously take note of the views and criticisms hurled by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"The way to overcome the criticisms from the former premier is not by shutting his mouth. Instead, the government must stay in focus and not get distracted from its goal.

"Now it seems like there is no direction. Dr Mahathir not being elected is a small thing the spat between him and Pak Lah is also no big deal What is more important is where we are heading as a nation?"

Debating on Budget 2007 in Parliament today (Sept 13, 2006), Zaid said: "The issues that are grabbing attention these days include the question of RM200 at the Kubang Pasu (Umno) Division delegate's election and before that it was around the issue of Datuk K (singer Siti Nurhaliza's husband).

"It is essential for the government to remain focused on the bigger picture, not petty issues. We have heard many times about the paradigm shift and thinking outside the box.

"Now is the time. Even MPs have raised issues about the many projects that had yet to be implemented, such as the National Integrity Plan and the fight against corruption.

"People should support the government not because they are afraid but because they believe and understand the government's agenda.

"The government's reformation differentiates us from the Mahathir's era. Whatever changes we make to economy or administration, they all depends on our political stability and I am worried that is being threatened right now."

"Thus, the warning from Mahathir and his current efforts should warrant serious attention by the government. Mahathir has a good record when he wants to remove or sack any person, he usually succeeds. His track record is good," Zaid warned.

"In 1969, the country's first Prime Minister had to withdraw due to his pressure, in 1987 Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had to withdraw Hussein Onn also left Umno because of him Anwar Ibrahim was sacked ... ," he said.

Zaid said Mahathir's record as a leader was strong and unchallengeable.

"It is clear if he was a footballer, he would be a very fast striker. One does not want to see (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi become the sixth victim in this matter," he said.

Zaid said: "I am not pitting one person against another. But the fact is that we have to accept facts in the interest of our country.

"The fact is there appears to be a clash between the Mahatirism of Mahathir and that of Islam Hadhari of Abdullah. In short Mahatirism is all about power by whatever means to achieve the goals."

Meanwhile, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (BN-Gua Musang) said in his debate the government should not allow issues and matters in the country to be determined by world affairs.

"I acknowledge that the government has undertaken various efforts to face any eventuality," he said in one of his rarest debates in the Dewan Rakyat.

He added the move to encourage Petronas to seek international oil reserves should be praised.

"However the Rakyat would also like to know how much income it has made," said the former Finance Minister.

"Several incidents in Sudan (involving Petronas) is worrisome as is the issue of us being chased out of Chad. How safe are our investments in Myanmar and Iran in the event of international pressure?"

Razaleigh suggested that the government further develop the oil and gas industry.

"We are the largest producers and owners of the largest reserves in the region. Petronas is ahead in the industry compared with other regional companies such as Pertamina.

"Yet, Malaysia is still not noted as a gas and oil hub of the region. I am confident that through a national strategic planning, we can affirm our position as a regional oil and gas hub, which could be strengthened with our position between the Straits of Malacca and South China Sea," he added.

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