Oct 31, 2006

Differences With Dr M Will Not Alienate M'sians, Says Abdullah

NANNING, Oct 31 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi believes his differences with his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will not alienate Malaysians and the people have to decide on what they want.

Speaking at a press conference before departing to Kuala Lumpur, Abdullah said he did not want to comment on speculations that Dr Mahathir would be expelled from Umno.

The Prime Minister said many people were concerned of what was happening between him and Dr Mahathir but they have also asked him to concentrate on implementing the Ninth Malaysia Plan which would yield many results by the middle of next year.

Asked if Malaysians were alienated by the situation between him and Dr Mahathir, he said: "No, I think Malaysians will have to decide on what they want, what they would like to do and what they are looking for if they want me to concentrate on what I am doing with my colleagues."

Surprised by a Malaysian newsman who reminded Abdullah that today was his third anniversary of his premiership, the Prime Minister said there was much he still had to do.

"Three years is not enough to do work as there are still much to be done. The Ninth Malaysia Plan has just been implemented and several projects under the Eighth Malaysia Plan have not been completed yet," he said.

Dr Mahathir has been criticising Abdullah and his administration for reversing some of his policies and cancelling projects initiated by him including the "scenic bridge" project to replace the Johor Causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore.

Dr Mahathir renewed his attacks on Abdullah after having a "four-eyed" meeting with the prime minister on Oct 22 including alleging that Malaysia had become a "police state".

Abdullah said: "I thank Malaysians for supporting me all this while."

He said the government was pushing ahead with the implementation of the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the people can expect to see a lot of results by mid-next year. "It's not that we are lying idle, there's still a lot of work to be done. I believe we can see a lot of changes in the near future. There are many projects to be implemented will yield benefits to the people," he said.

On the Umno supreme council meeting agenda on Thursday, Abdullah said he would be briefed by party secretary-general Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad after his return from Nanning where he attended the Asean-China commemorative summit.

He said he was always open to discuss any issue that was important to Umno.

The party management committee would also recommend matters that needed to be discussed, he said.

Asked if Dr Mahathir would be expelled, he said: I'm not sure such matters were the subject of discussions. I do not wish to comment on that."

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Oct 30, 2006

Tun Mahathir has "immunity" in UMNO

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 (Bernama) -- Umno has not come to a stage to take disciplinary action against former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, says Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.

This is because Dr Mahathir has something like an "immunity".

At one time Malaysia's first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Hal also hurled all sorts of criticisms against the then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir including through his writings in a local newspaper column but no disciplinary action was taken against him, he told Bernama.

Muhammad was asked to comment on a call by the Kedah Umno Youth that the Umno leadership should suspend Dr Mahathir's party membership for his continuous attacks on the government.

Kedah Umno Youth chief Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid was reported to have said in Alor Star, Sunday that Umno must take action on Dr Mahathir because his criticisms have given rise to many controversies.

Dr Mahathir launched renewed attacks on the government less than 24 hours after a "four-eyed" meeting with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the prime minister's official residence "Sri Perdana" in Putrajaya on Oct 22.

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TIME magazine talks to the Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi

I don't see the point of this Interview as most of the answers by our beloved PM is "You really have to ask him this question"

When Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi came to power in 2003, it was as the hand-picked successor to his former boss, Mahathir Mohamad. Since then, Mahathir has become increasingly critical of his protégé, largely over what the former Prime Minister saw as a rollback of many of his key projects. But while Mahathir's attacks have grown increasingly strident, the Prime Minister has until recently declined to respond. Now, in a written reply to questions from TIME, Abdullah discusses Mahathir's accusations:

TIME: Why do you think Mahathir is speaking out publicly now?

Abdullah: You really have to ask him this question. His public criticism began with the cancellation of the bridge to Singapore. That is an issue he has raised again and again, and also during our private meeting recently. Although the government has explained extensively why we cancelled the project, he still is not able to accept the decision while the public have moved on.

What do you think Mahathir is hoping to accomplish by speaking out so strongly? Is it a personality issue? Is he worried about his legacy? Or something else?
Again, this question is best directed at him. As far as I am concerned, all of his questions and criticisms have been answered either by myself or by members of my administration. Most of his criticism concern government projects and why they did not go as he wanted. I have explained that this government makes decisions based on priorities and realities which may be different to when he was the prime minister.

You didn't really start fighting back until yesterday. Why are you speaking out now? Was it because Mahathir continued to attack even after meeting with you on Sunday?

I would not like to characterize my statements as fighting back. I have already addressed many of the issues he has raised in an interview that was televised nationally during the height of his attacks. My ministers have also replied. What is important for me is to concentrate on the implementation of the recently launched Ninth Malaysia Plan—our national economic blueprint for the next five years. I choose to focus on this, which is an important mission for me.

He has accused me of not doing anything for the last two years. Well, I had to start off by cutting the budget deficit, reprioritize spending and maintain political stability.

What do you think the ramifications of Mahathir's criticisms will be? Will his comments affect the upcoming UMNO general assembly?
Our economy is still robust and on course to meet our targets. Political stability is not threatened and my party is united. His remarks have had little real effect on politics or business in Malaysia and some have said that it is an unwelcome distraction. The assembly will be a good opportunity for me to refocus my party's energy towards our economic and development agenda, especially for the Malay community.

How do you think your leadership style differs from Mahathir's? Why have you undone some of Mahathir's pet policies?

I have said this many times—our broad vision remains the same. We both want Malaysia to be a developed country by 2020. We largely share the same development strategy. But, of course, implementation may differ. For example, apart from manufacturing and construction I have also stressed the need to develop agro-based industries and the services sectors to provide more broad-based development. I would say that I have had to make certain decisions to protect our country's interests. We are facing all kinds of competitive pressures and we need to ensure that our economic priorities are right.

Do you think Mahathir's comments are bad for Malaysia? If so, why?
He is free to say what he wants. We are a democracy and it is his right to speak. When I became Prime Minister, I encouraged more openness and did not want to muzzle different views, so I suppose this is part of that process. But it is unfortunate that he is making wild allegations and that he does not acknowledge that answers have been given. At the end of the day, Malaysia is still well regarded internationally as an advanced Muslim country and as a good investment destination, despite what he says.


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Mahathir may be dumped as Malaysian advisor: report

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysian ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad could be dumped as an advisor to key government-linked companies and agencies if he continues to criticise the government, reports said Monday.

Senior members of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) are expected to discuss Mahathir's roles as adviser to national oil company Petronas, car maker Proton and the Langkawi Development Authority this Thursday.

"Let the UMNO supreme council discuss it first and then it is up to the Prime Minister to decide," Mohamed Khaled Nordin, a member of the powerful policy-making body, was quoted as saying by the Malay-language Utusan Malaysia.

UMNO vice president Muhyiddin Yassin reportedly said it would be awkward for Mahathir to hold the positions given to him by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi while at the same time hurling accusations at the leader.

"It is up to Mahathir to consider it. I don't think the prime minister will ask him to do so because Abdullah is a well-mannered leader and always takes a neutral stance," Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by Malay-language Berita Harian.

Calls for Mahathir to resign were initiated at the weekend by Kedah chief state minister Mahdzir Khalid, a senior UNMO figure, who said the ex-premier's conduct had become an embarrassment.

"If (Mahathir) wants to bash the government, it would only be proper for him to relinquish all these posts and be an independent individual who has nothing to do with the government," Mahdzir reportedly said.

Mahathir has accused his successor of nepotism, corruption and economic mismanagement during a months-long feud, but took his criticism up a notch last week when he said Abdullah was running a police state. - AFP /dt

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Malaysia's explosive political feud damaging PM and Mahathir: analysts

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - An ugly feud between former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad and his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is damaging both men and creating uncertainty in Malaysia's political scene, analysts say.

The pair have rowed for most of this year, but the gloves came off last week after highly anticipated "peace talks" aimed at ironing out their differences failed in spectacular fashion, triggering heightened attacks from both sides.

Mahathir said Abdullah was running a "police state", and renewed accusations of nepotism, corruption and economic mismanagement against the administration which he complains is dismantling his legacy built up over two decades in power.

Abdullah abandoned his previously restrained approach, retorting that the 82-year-old was spitting "stronger doses of venom" and noting that Mahathir's own sons had profited substantially during his time in power.

In an open letter to Malaysians, circulated over the Internet, Mahathir then warned that a "climate of fear" had enveloped the country thanks to Abdullah, his hand-picked successor who was installed in the top job in 2003.

As Malaysians follow the row with rapt attention, analysts say that some of the mud is sticking on Abdullah, whose lustre has already dimmed with a disappointing performance since his landslide election victory in 2004.

"In Malaysian politics, the perception is important. It's not so much if it's absolutely true, especially when the allegations are made by a former prime minister," political commentator James Wong Wing On told AFP.

Maznah Mohamad, a senior research fellow with the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, said that Mahathir -- a shrewd strategist -- was reflecting popular discontent with the new premier.

"The ultimate objective of Tun Mahathir is to bring down Abdullah Badawi. I don't think he will stop before that happens," she said.

Amidst Mahathir's slew of allegations, "people will pick and choose and agree with him," she said.

The prolonged row is contributing to a sense of drift amid concerns Malaysia's economy is slowing down and grumbles that Abdullah has not lived up to election promises such as tackling corruption, said Maznah.

"What Mahathir says, it does resonate generally because there is no feel-good factor any more."

But the fallout isn't landing on Abdullah alone.

Mahathir's attack, including its timing in the midst of Muslim Eid al-Fitr celebrations when forgiveness is supposed to be the order of the day, has alarmed Malaysians and infuriated the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

"People feel now that it is very, very uncharitable of Mahathir before Hari Raya to do this," said veteran UMNO watcher and anthropology professor at the National University of Malaya, Shamsul Amri Baharuddin.

"The premeditatedness of Mahathir is actually making people very unhappy. That he is all out to do some damage, he is not constructive at all and is informed by personal interests, not national interests," he said.

Analysts also said that Malaysians detect a whiff of hypocrisy in Mahathir's claims of corruption against Abdullah, and his complaints that he is being gagged by the ruling party and the media.

"The general perspective is that he is criticising the very same thing he created in the 22 years he was in power, like the police state, so he is actually saying everything about himself, rather than Abdullah," said Shamsul.

Abdullah has said that the feud can only help the opposition, which was trounced at the last elections, but few commentators expect the row to produce serious political instability.

"It will increase the chances of the opposition of getting more support and more seats in the coming election, although a change of government is still unlikely," said Wong of the next ballot due to be held by 2009.

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Oct 29, 2006

Govt Should Give Rational Explanation To Dr M's Allegations, Says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 (Bernama) -- The government should give a rational explanation to refute the allegations raised by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his spat with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Sunday.

He said the government should confine itself to answering the allegations pertaining to the issues and policies raised by Dr Mahathir and not resort to any deviation.

"It is not in my interest to get involved in these two people's feud but there are allegations that involve policies which are serious as... (they come from)... a prime minister of 22 years. This matter should be discussed and deliberated (by the current administration).

"(It is) no point for the government to be in a state of denial but give satisfactory answers," he told reporters at the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at his residence in Bukit Damansara, here.

Anwar, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor, was asked for his views on the current spat between Abdullah and Dr Mahathir, particularly after their four-eyed meeting last Sunday.

He said Dr Mahathir, as a citizen, has every right to criticise the current administration and this warranted some detailed explanation from the current administration, particularly on allegations pertaining to issues and policies.

"We may not be in agreement with Tun (Dr Mahathir). I do not agree that we should belittle (anyone). I do not believe the solution is in being merciless towards him (Dr Mahathir). I respect the right of Dr Mahathir (to criticise). If there is basis to the statements, the government has to reply," he said.

Anwar said the current administration's replies to Dr Mahathir's allegations were not convincing as "several leaders were merely saying Dr Mahathir should not have criticised the prime minister".

Asked if the spat between Abdullah and Dr Mahathir would end soon, Anwar said: "I see no way that it is going to be resolved very soon".

"The former prime minister has taken a strong position. The issues are not just a matter of a few policies but a major devastating critique at the administration," he said.

Last Sunday, Dr Mahathir met Abdullah at Seri Perdana, the official residence of the prime minister, in Putrajaya and they spoke for about two hours on the issues raised by Dr Mahathir.

Soon after the meeting, Dr Mahathir revealed that although he was satisfied with the meeting, he was not happy with the response he got from Abdullah.

Last Thursday, Abdullah described as "doses of venom" the remark by Dr Mahathir that he would continue criticising the government.

Abdullah said he hoped that Dr Mahathir would wait for his explanation to the issues he has raised, but added that before he could explain the former prime minister had launched renewed attacks on him and the government.

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Dr Mahathir's Criticism Of Govt Worse Than Kuan Yew's, Says Khaled

JOHOR BAHARU, Oct 29 (Bernama) -- Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin Sunday described former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's criticism of the government was worse than that by Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew who often criticised the Malaysian government.

He said Dr Mahathir, upon his retirement, could have opted to emulate Lee's example by remaining in the government to ensure that the policies implemented under his administration were unchanged, but he chose not to do so.

"If Dr Mahathir had wanted what he had been doing to be continued, he could have done what Lee Kuan Yew did but he himself said that he wanted to retire and that he had been in politics for too long," he said when asked by reporters why Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did not use his powers to appoint Dr Mahathir as a senior minister or a minister mentor.

Khaled, who is a member of the Umno Supreme Council, spoke to reporters at his Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house held at the Taman Johor Jaya multipurpose hall near here.

He said that Dr Mahathir's allegation that Abdullah was a weak leader had revealed that the former prime minister actually wanted Abdullah to be his proxy.

"I feel there are no Malaysians who want their prime minister to be a proxy to anyone," he said.

Khaled said a minister mentor would have to shoulder the responsibility of contributing to and implementing all government decisions but what Dr Mahathir wanted was only a proxy.

"I am not amazed at the criticism from Dr Mahathir and I hope the people will also not be swayed. In the 22 years that Dr Mahathir was the prime minister, several of his deputy prime ministers have disagreed with him and many of the decisions were made on his own," he said.

"Dr Mahathir has assumed Pak Lah (Abdullah) to be weak and therefore picked Pak Lah (as his successor) so that Pak Lah can be his proxy, which is worse than him (Dr Mahathir) being a minister mentor," he said.

Khaled said that unlike Dr Mahathir, Abdullah arrived at decisions after holding meetings and taking into account the views of all quarters.

"In several matters, such as the cancellation of the crooked bridge to link Malaysia and Singapore and the railway double track projects, the decisions were made by the Cabinet," he said.

Khaled also referred to Dr Mahathir's criticism as an attempt to sabotage national economic development because many investors were shying away from Malaysia.

In BACHOK, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said that as a man of principles Dr Mahathir should resign from his positions (as advisor) in government bodies because he was clearly criticising the government.

He was commenting on Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid's statement Saturday that Dr Mahathir should relinquish his posts as advisor in the government bodies if he were to continue criticising the government.

Dr Awang Adek, who is Deputy Chairman of the Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee, spoke to reporters after attending a Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house in Kampung Teratak Pulai near Bachok.

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Closed-door Meeting Without The Media Better, Says Fong

PENANG, Oct 28 (bernama) -- Any discussion between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should be held behind closed door and not through the media, said MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn.

This was to avoid more complications and problems that could crop up, said Dr Fong, who is also the Human Resource Minister.

"This (closed-door meeting) is to enable matters arising to be discussed in greater detail, so that clearer explanation can be made to the satisfaction of everyone," he said at a media conference after the Penang Buildex 2006 dinner, here Saturday night.

He said this when commenting on the continued open criticism against Abdullah's leadership by Dr Mahathir although both the Prime Minister and his predecessor had met at Seri Perdana, Putrajaya, on Sunday.

Fong said the MCA had full confidence in the spirit of consensus practised by the Barisan Nasional leadership currently.

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Oct 28, 2006

Kedah MB Says Dr Mahathir Going Overboard As Umno Member

KUALA NERANG, Oct 28 (Bernama) -- Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said Saturday Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was going overboard as an Umno member by continuing to criticise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said he has lost confidence in Dr Mahathir and felt that the former prime minister's continued criticism of the government would make the people, particularly Umno members, lose their respect for him as a statesman.

"I feel that the people of Kedah themselves are embarrassed by Tun's actions and will lose their respect for him," he told reporters at the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house for the Pedu state constituency at the Naka Community Hall near here.

Mahdzir also said that while Dr Mahathir was hurling criticism at the government, the former prime minister was advisor to several government bodies such as national oil company Petronas, national car maker Proton and the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada).

"If Tun (Dr Mahathir) wants to bash the government, it would only be proper for him to relinquish all these posts and be an independent individual who has nothing to do with the government. Otherwise, what's the use of being an advisor," he said.

Mahdzir said that when Dr Mahathir was the prime minister, no one dared to criticise him.

"He used his powers, he used the ISA (Internal Security Act) to arrest people, and now he says the country has turned into a police state," he added.

Mahdzir said he assumed that Dr Mahathir was speaking on behalf of other people when he wrote a letter to the media saying that anyone who attempted to hold any function that might involve criticising the prime minister would be harassed and threatened by the police and government leaders to force them to cancel the function.

He said the willingness of Abdullah to face criticism and give priority to decision-making by consensus were praiseworthy attributes of the prime minister.

However, he said, Dr Mahathir's gesture in announcing openly that he had talked for one and a half hours at his one-on-one meeting with Abdullah last Sunday was akin to threatening the prime minister who did not say much at the meeting.

"Tun (Dr Mahathir) should realise that his action (of criticising the government) had never been practised by former prime ministers before him," Mahdzir said.

The Kedah menteri besar said that as a former prime minister it would be appropriate for Dr Mahathir to give the current leadership the opportunity to administer the country.

Mahdzir said the Kedah Umno Liaison Committee would not give any explanation to its members because it was felt that they have seen the situation in a different perspective compared to the time when Dr Mahathir first began his criticism of the government.

About 10,000 people, including party and community leaders of various races, visited the open house which was held from 11 am to 4 pm.

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Dr M's Criticism Of PM Akin To His Own Era, Says Zam

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's criticism of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is akin to criticising his own era, including from the aspect of "Malays forget easily", says Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin.

"Dr Mahathir has forgotten or had purposely chose to forget his ways in implementing freedom of the press, in politics and economy when he was the prime minister.

"It cannot be denied that his success in practising democracy had shown firmness and authoritativeness. Although he allowed freedom of expression and forgived his friends who were his political foes, in the process of enhancing his power, he has built his own era which made him not only to be respected but also feared," he told reporters.

Zainuddin said the former prime minister might not have realised this when he was the prime minister but it was very much felt by the people who dealt with him then, especially cabinet ministers.

"What Dr Mahathir is doing now to Pak Lah (Abdullah) is the same as what Tunku Abdul Rahman (Putra Al-Haj) (Malaysia's first prime minister) did to him (Dr Mahathir) to the extent that Tunku supported the Opposition and Tunku was used by the Opposition in the elections...only the ways are different.

"Tunku was more diplomatic but Dr Mahathir is more aggressive," he added.


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Tun Mahathir says family harassed

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia‘s outspoken former prime minister says his relatives are being harassed and intimidated by his hand-picked successor as their bitter, personal feud reached new levels this week.

The 82-year-old politician has accused Abdullah of corruption, nepotism and running a police state.

Asked if he fears being arrested, Mahathir said: "I may not be arrested or put in jail ... but there are ways of hitting out. Maybe at my relatives, or some kind of unpleasantness can occur."

One relative, a businessman, has also received calls from the Anti-Corruption Agency, he said.

During his 22 years in office, Mahathir was credited with industrializing Malaysia, with a penchant for mega-projects, such as the Petronas towers. He also cracked down on suspected Islamic militants, which made his Muslim-majority nation a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.

But he became known for provocative, anti-Semitic comments, especially about what he saw as Western domination of developing countries and U.S. policy in the Middle East. He has been critical of President Bush — and was again during the interview.

"He has brought down the United States to a very low level. It is right that Americans should hate him," he said.

Mahathir also said he was not sure the Republicans would suffer big losses in the upcoming midterm elections, but even if they did, it is unlikely to lead to a change in U.S. policy in the Middle East because the Democrats are "equally guilty" of supporting the invasion of Iraq .

About a year ago, Mahathir began expressing unhappiness with Abdullah‘s style of government, and alleged that the premier‘s son, son-in-law and their cronies were using their position to enrich their businesses and gain political influence.

Abdullah appears to have the backing of his Cabinet as well as the party, but Mahathir‘s considerable behind-the-scenes clout cannot be underestimated.

Abdullah broke his long silence about his former mentor on Thursday before the AP interview, saying he had expected Mahathir to wait for his response to the allegations before saying anything publicly. But instead, he repeated them "with stronger doses of venom. ... What else can be done? He wants to continue," Abdullah said.

-- AFP

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Oct 27, 2006

Tun Mahathir : "I'm being made out to be of unsound mind"

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today (Oct 27, 2006) disseminated a statement to all Malaysians via blogs and e-mail, saying he had to criticise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi because no one else was able to.

He also said a "climate of fear" had enveloped the country and "no one dares to comment, criticise or oppose anything that is done by the prime minister."

The former premier addressed the statement to "Citizens of Malaysia", and signed off as a "Malaysian Citizen and Commoner".

It was released to selected English and Malay blogs, and sent to the e-mail of friends and supporters, after midnight Thursday, Mahathir's aide Sufi Yusoff said. It was not sent to any of the print media.

"The statement is addressed to all Malaysians and it would be disseminated faster via the blogs and e-mail," Sufi told theSun.

He said the media could pick up the statement from any of the blogs. "We are not controlling the dissemination of the statement. We want it to snowball to reach as many people as possible."

Among these blogs is Malaysia Today which is run by Raja Petra Kamarudin, formerly the webmaster for the Free Anwar (Ibrahim) website, who was detained under the Internal Security Act during Mahathir's premiership.

Mahathir, who has been openly attacking Abdullah for the past six months over issues such as the cancelled bridge between Malaysia and Singapore, and the issuance of Approved Permits for imported cars, has continued his criticism of Abdullah in two press conferences despite a meeting with Abdullah on Sunday (Oct 22).

Abdullah said on Thursday (Oct 26) he was sad and disappointed that Mahathir continued to spew "stronger doses of venom" against him despite the four-eyed meeting where the former premier spoke for an hour-and-a-half.

Abdullah had also said that he was sad that Mahathir had continued with his tirade without giving him enough time to reply.

In his latest statement, Mahathir also charged that the mainstream media, including radio and television, were not allowed to admonish the prime minister.

"Their media make out that my criticisms of the prime minister are despicable and reprehensible," he said.

"The questions and issues I raised have not been answered. What is being questioned is my right to comment and criticise.

"Attempts are made to disparage me so badly that I am made out to be of unsound mind. Repeatedly, allegations were made that the administration during my time was worse," he added.

Mahathir said in a situation where no one - from Cabinet ministers to Umno, Parliament, state leaders, royalty and beggars - could criticise the prime minister, he had to voice his criticisms on issues that concern religion, race and the country.

He also said anyone who attempted to hold a function that may involve criticising the prime minister would be harassed and threatened by the police and government leaders to force them to cancel the function.

Additionally, he said, the "Internet and websites would be electronically bugged and action taken against anyone who criticises the Prime Minister".

"I myself have been blocked using all sorts of means to stop me from criticising the Prime Minister," Mahathir said.

To a question whether Malaysians could expect more statements from Mahathir, Sufi said statements would be made "as and when it was necessary".

-- The Sun

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Statement by Tun Mahathir : Why Did I Criticise the PM

Press statement by Tun Mahathir : Why Did I Criticise the PM [27th Oct 2006]

English Version

BM Version

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PM : Everything is possible, and everything is also impossible

PM regrets Dr M didn't wait for explanation [thestar]

KEPALA BATAS: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is deeply grieved by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s renewed attacks against him, which the Prime Minister likened to “stronger doses of venom.”

Breaking his silence over their meeting last Sunday when Dr Mahathir spoke for two hours on what he thought was wrong with the present administration, Abdullah said he was saddened that the former premier had continued with his criticisms in the media.

“I feel sad because he has told me all that he wanted to say. I will need time to respond. But he repeated (his criticisms) with stronger doses of venom.

“What else (is there) to do? Allahualam (only God knows), he still wants to continue. I had hoped that he could wait for my explanation,” he told a press conference at his Hari Raya open house at Dewan Milenium here yesterday.

Abdullah said it upset him that people who came to his open house still talked about the issue, and many had directly asked him about it.

During Sunday’s meeting – which Abdullah described as “calm, without any exchange of harsh words” – he said he did not talk much because he wanted Dr Mahathir to say his piece.

“I was not interested in arguing with him. He wanted to convey what was on his mind; and I gave him the opportunity to do so,” Abdullah said.

“Some of the other details I had explained in the past. So I did not want to repeat them.

“Tun himself has said before that if the Prime Minister did not want to give explanations, he could ask the ministers to do so on his behalf.

“So, I followed his advice and allowed other ministers to give the necessary explanations.”

Abdullah said there were several junctures during the meeting when he felt compelled to debate with Dr Mahathir, because he disagreed with the latter’s views.

“If I did that, it would take time. Tun would not be able to tell me everything. And that will become an issue,” he said.

He said Dr Mahathir first asked him whether the country was now a police state.

“I told him that was not true. I have no intention of turning Malaysia into a police state,” Abdullah said.

He also told Dr Mahathir that his allegation that Umno members were now afraid to voice their opinions was incorrect.

“Umno members feel happy under my leadership because they are relieved that they can talk. This democracy was created by Umno leaders themselves,” he told newsmen.

On Dr Mahathir’s claim that his movements were being restricted, Abdullah said he had not imposed any restrictions.

On the contrary, he said, Dr Mahathir might not be aware that in the days when he was Umno vice-president but was not holding a Cabinet post, people who were trying to please Dr Mahathir had restricted his movements.

“But at that time, I was an elected vice-president and held a party post. If we go by that, I could have gone anywhere,” he said.

Abdullah said he also denied claims of his son Kamaluddin’s involvement in securing a contract under the Scomi Group to make bus body parts.

On the Sultan of Johor’s statement that Dr Mahathir should behave like a “pensioner” and stop “making noise,” Abdullah said the Sultan’s view reflected the feelings of many people.

Asked if there would be another meeting with Dr Mahathir, Abdullah said: “We will see. Everything is possible, and everything is also impossible. Allahualam.”

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MCA Denies Dr Mahathir's Allegations Over Chinese Support

Always quick to show their support when you need them. MCA!

MUAR, Oct 26 (Bernama) -- The MCA Thursday denied allegations by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Chinese businessmen in the country did not support the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

MCA Vice-President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said that, on the contrary, Chinese businessmen had described Abdullah as a leader who was democratic and transparent in administering the country.

"They say the prime minister is a leader who is willing to listen to whatever grievances and appeals the people have. I am confident Abdullah's leadership will convince Chinese businessmen to continue to support the Barisan Nasional (BN) government led by him," he said.

Dr Chua, who is also Health Minister, was asked to comment on the matter by reporters at the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house of Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman in Sungai Mati, here.

He said that based on the feedback received following the setting up of MCA's Malaysian Corporate Council recently, Chinese businessmen's support for the government had grown stronger.

"As a result of the meeting between the council and the prime minister, which we arranged recently, Datuk Seri Abdullah personally pledged to solve the problems that they had been raised in stages," he said.

According to Dr Chua, the business community worldwide and not only in Malaysia is facing the pressures of competition as a result of globalisation and trade in a borderless world.

In Malaysia, he said, companies faced the problem of a labour shortage which caused the cost of doing business to rise.

"But to say that they do not support the government as alleged by Tun Dr Mahathir, it is not true," he said, adding that the Chinese businessmen in fact welcomed having dialogue with the prime minister from time to time to resolve issues, including those that had been brought to the attention of the prime minister much earlier.

In KEPALA BATAS, Gerakan deputy president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon also denied that Chinese businessmen were running away and investing in China.

Dr Koh, who is also Penang Chief Minister, said the claims made by Dr Mahathir were not true as many businessmen had actually expanded their wings by investing overseas.

"Since the early '90s, local Chinese businessman had expanded to China at the urging of Dr Mahathir himself for Malaysians to get involved in projects abroad," he told reporters after attending Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Hari Raya open house here.

He said the same thing was happening to Malay and Indian businessmen who had gone on to invest in India and other countries in Africa, which only proved that Dr Mahathir's claims were not accurate.

Dr Koh also said that the Penang BN would continue supporting Abdullah in leading the nation and to achieve the national mission.

"We are deeply saddened and regret the remarks by Dr Mahathir," he said.


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Oct 26, 2006

PM Abdullah Badawi in combative mood against Mahathir: officials

As long as Tun Mahathir's children have more government contracts than PM's son, then everything will be ok?

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has upped the ante in a bitter feud with ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad, hitting out at the former leader for the first time, officials said Friday.

But even as Abdullah signalled a gloves-off approach, Mahathir issued a stinging assault over the Internet, saying a "climate of fear has enveloped the country" and asserting his right to criticise Abdullah.

Abdullah has for months delivered only muted responses to attacks from Mahathir, 82, who has accused his hand-picked successor of nepotism, corruption, economic mismanagement and wrong-headed policies.

But showing his frustration, Abdullah said late Thursday he was "disappointed and sad" over the row, and blamed Mahathir for continuing a dispute that has shocked the country's ruling party and many Malaysians.

"God knows," he was quoted as saying by the state Bernama news agency, when asked what would happen next, and if the row would end. "I don't know, it's up to Dr Mahathir."

Abdullah's comments were his first since a failed attempt at making peace with Mahathir in a two-hour meeting on Sunday, which was immediately followed by fresh attacks from the elder statesman.

In an unusual riposte, Abdullah said during the talks he refuted Mahathir's claims of nepotism involving his son Kamaluddin and Malaysian company Scomi, and accused Mahathir's sons of benefiting more under the ex-premier's tenure.

Kamaluddin is a major shareholder in the Scomi Group.

"The projects awarded to Dr Mahathir's children were far bigger than what Scomi received," said Abdullah.

Officials from the prime minister's office Friday said Abdullah's allegations of nepotism against Mahathir demonstrated a more combative mood from the premier.

"He was still jovial with reporters, he was composed, but he's in that fighting spirit," an aide told AFP.

Answering back Friday, Mahathir, calling himself a "Malaysian citizen and commoner" wrote a letter which an aide told AFP was sent to a number of websites, alleging he was being victimised because of his criticisms.

"Why did I criticise the prime minister? Because no one else is able to criticise the prime minister," he said in the letter addressed to the "citizens of Malaysia".

"Attempts are made to disparage me so badly that I am made out to be of unsound mind," he added in the letter, a copy of which was on news website Malaysiakini.

"Repeatedly, allegations were made that the administration during my time was worse," he said.

Mahathir, who has accused Abdullah of running a "police state" and curbing his right to speak, warned anyone criticising the premier would be blocked and accused the police and government of issuing threats to critics.

The threats includes "sacking, transfer to remote areas like in Sabah, retraction or cancellation of contracts, harassment by the banks, call-up by the police, the Anti-Corruption Agency and other government enforcement agencies," he said.

"No one dares to comment, criticise or oppose anything that is done by the prime minister," Mahathir said.

With no end in sight to the feud, analysts said the row was beginning to wear Malaysians down, while adding to growing uncertainty about Abdullah's leadership amid fears of an economic slowdown.

Maznah Mohamad, visiting senior research fellow with the Asia Research Institute in Singapore, said the crisis showed the "feel-good factor" around Abdullah's leadership was dissipating.

"Before, people felt it was good Abdullah Badawi was replacing Tun Mahathir and he was a breath of fresh air," said Maznah.

Now, "most Malaysians share the view that Abdullah Badawi is not an astute prime minister". - AFP/ir

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Tun Mahathir should behave like a pensioner and 'stop making noise'

The Sultan of Johor said yesterday that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should behave like a pensioner and stop "making noise".

Extracted from NST
An annoyed Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has ordered palace staff to compile information from the public on errant local councillors and elected representatives, including Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros, for him to stop the hanky-panky of these officials.

A saddened Sultan Iskandar wants Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to behave like a pensioner and 'stop making noise'. He also urged the people to support Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government.

JOHOR BARU: The Sultan of Johor said yesterday that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should behave like a pensioner and stop "making noise".

He also called on the people to join him in supporting the administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

In an impromptu speech after Aidilfitri prayers at the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque here, he said he was sad and disappointed at the continuing criticism of Abdullah’s leadership by his predecessor.

"I have something to say," Sultan Iskandar al-Marhum Sultan Ismail told Muslims as he took over the microphone after the prayers and sermon by the imam.

He said he was saddened by the feud, especially since he knew both leaders personally and considered them as his sahabat (friends).

(Abdullah and Dr Mahathir are recipients of the Darjah Kerabat Johor Yang Amat Dihormati, Pangkat Pertama (DK1).

(The DK or The Most Esteemed Family Order of Johor, is normally awarded to royalty, but it is occasionally given to commoners who have given valuable service to the Ruler and the state).

Alluding to Dr Mahathir’s recent attacks against Abdullah, the Sultan said: "If one has already been pensioned, just behave like a pensioner, what is the use of making more noise?"

Among those in the congregation were the Tunku Mahkota Johor, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail; Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, state executive councillors and heads of government departments and community leaders.

During Umno’s 60th anniversary celebrations at Istana Johor in May, the sultan had tried to patch things up between Abdullah and Dr Mahathir by asking them to be photographed together in a group picture with him and other Umno leaders.

Dr Mahathir told reporters on Monday — the day after a peace meeting with Abdullah — that he would continue with his criticism to "save Umno from a bad leadership", and until there was change.

He has escalated his attacks on the current administration in the past six months, accusing Abdullah of jeopardising economic expansion and achieving nothing since taking over in 2003.

Among his key grouses are the scrapping of several of his pet projects, including building a bridge to replace the Causeway across the Johor Strait.

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Oct 25, 2006

Tun Mahathir Made TWO Political Miscalculations

2 Mistakes?

Extracted from BERNAMA
Tun Mahathir Made Political Miscalculation, Says Zam

ALOR STAR, Oct 25 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made a political miscalculation when he revealed the substance of his meeting last Sunday with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said Tuesday.

He said that at a time when the leaders, the Malays and Muslims were hoping for a settlement (of the differences of opinion between the two leaders) before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the former prime minister had revealed matters of a sensitive nature discussed at the meeting.

He said that for the Malays it was a sad Aidilfitri this year because they failed to see the settlement that they had been hoping for between the former prime minister and his successor.

"As far as I can remember, this is the second time that Dr Mahathir has made a political miscalculation. The first time was when he brought Anwar (former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) into Umno to strengthen the party but the move only caused damage to Umno," he told Bernama when contacted.

Zainuddin, who is the Member of Parliament for Merbok, said that following the political miscalculation, a random survey among officers of the Information Ministry a day after Dr Mahathir's statement showed that Abdullah had won much sympathy.

He said the survey also found that the people were disappointed with Dr Mahathir's approach in making the open statement.

However, he added, the Information Ministry would conduct a more comprehensive study on the people's response towards the development.

Many people were not in agreement and feel that it was not appropriate for Dr Mahathir to have done what he did, he said.

Zainuddin said he was taken aback by Dr Mahathir's statement predicting a poor future for the Barisan Nasional (BN).

"Three days before the meeting, I mentioned to Pak Lah (the prime minister) that I did not think the meeting would bring any positive result," he said.

Zainuddin said the meeting should have ended without any statement afterwards.

"My hopes and that of other Malays and Muslims were dashed when Dr Mahathir came out with a more critical statement and of a personal nature against Pak Lah," he said.

Zainuddin said the prime minister had opened the doors to subsequent discussions and meetings when he extended the invitation for further meetings with Dr Mahathir.

"I believe the people are hoping for private four-eyed dialogues to be held in the future," he said.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said he hoped that Dr Mahathir would discontinue making unhealthy comments against Abdullah because it was tantamount to discourteous acts by a member against his own party.

"I state this because never has there been a case in Umno where a member can force a leader to follow his wishes.

"If everything that the government does is commented on and disputed in a big way, it is clearly not proper," he told reporters at his Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at his residence in Kampung Tok Has near Jertih.

Idris said it was not wrong to make comments about a leader but it had to be done through the proper channels.

"I have made comments against Pak Lah but the difference is that we do so in the correct way, not contrary to Islam," he said.

He said that when Dr Mahathir was prime minister, other leaders had great respect for him and that it was now the former prime minister's turn to respect the decisions made by Abdullah.

"What is implemented are not the decisions of the prime minister alone but those of the Cabinet," he said.

Idris said he was disappointed that Dr Mahathir preferred to seek publicity by revealing issues to the media when the two leaders had already met last Sunday.

He said that whatever happened, it would not deter him and the people of Terengganu from continuing to support the leadership of Abdullah.

In MUAR (Johor), Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister and Umno Vice-President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the people were disappointed over Dr Mahathir's latest verbal assault of Abdullah as they had hoped that the differences between the two leaders would be resolved at their meeting. He said the people's support for the leadership of Abdullah showed that they did not want the political stability as well as stability of the government to be undermined by Dr Mahathir's criticism of Abdullah.

Commenting on the meeting of the two leaders, Muhyiddin said answers to 90 minutes of discussions on politics, foreign policy, administration and other matters could not be found in a short time.

The government leadership had to study each matter that was raised before making its decisions, he said, adding that it was not necessarily so that the government must agree 100 per cent with what was raised by the former prime minister.

Muhyiddin also said that it was important at this time to give the government leadership the opportunity to implement development programmes in line with the objective of making Malaysia a developed nation according to Vision 2020 that was initiated by Dr Mahathir.

Although the approaches of Dr Mahathir and Abdullah differed, the objective was one and the same, he said.


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Dr M Preferred For A Third Party To Be Present, Says Mubarak Member

Dr M Preferred For A Third Party To Be Present, Says Mubarak Member

PENDANG, Oct 24 (Bernama) -- Although the four-eyed meeting between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Sunday appeared to show their sincerity, the former Prime Minister had actually wanted the presence a reliable third party, said Datuk Othman Abdul, a Mubarak member who played a key role in arranging the meeting.

The former Member of Parliament said that it was only after much persuasion that Dr Mahathir agree to the one-to-one pow-wow.

"Dr Mahathir did not show a favourable reaction when Mubarak (Council of Former Elected Representatives) told him of the type of meeting preferred by Pak Lah (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi)," said Othman when met by Bernama at his home in Kampung Paya Kerchut near here Tuesday.

According to him, Dr Mahathir gave a number of reasons why it was important that a reliable third person should be present.

He said that Dr Mahathir also stated that the meeting was not for the purposes of apologies by either side as no one had done the other wrong and he just wanted to meet Abdullah to air his grievances and give him some advice.

However, Othman said that he and other members of Mubarak overall saw the meeting between them as a success and a meaningful gift for Malaysians.


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Abdullah Mum Over Meeting With Dr M

Oh No, Not that subject again, haha.

200,000 turned up to show their support for our beloved PM, or because of the free foods?. Anyway, Selamat Hari Raya, PM.

Abdullah Mum Over Meeting With Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR, Okt 24 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Tuesday chose to keep mum over his two-hour four-eyed meeting with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya on Sunday.

"Not on that subject, please. There will be another time," came the polite response from the country's top politician to reporters at the Cabinet's Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

Pressed further to open up and comment on the meeting, Abdullah, who was in a jovial mood after receiving thousands of guests and visitors at the open house, again pleaded: "No...I am not talking on that subject...there will be a time for that".

The prime minister, however, said the huge turnout at today's open house, which attracted nearly 200,000 people from all walks of life, demonstrated that the people had confidence in him.

"I believe those who came are happy. Some told me keep on going with the good job. We will support you (they said). There are some who are happy and some not. People give me confidence...I like to meet the people," Abdullah added.

Dr Mahathir has been criticising Abdullah's administration of the government and the economy, especially in the last six months.

The former prime minister had expressed discontentment over various issues like the scrapping of a proposed bridge linking Malaysia and Singapore and the issuance of Approved Permits (APs) for imported vehicles.

On Sunday, the two leaders met at the official residence of the Prime Minister where Dr Mahathir aired his grouses for about one-and-a-half hours.

Soon after the meeting, Dr Mahathir said that although he was satisfied that the meeting took place, he was not happy with the response he got from Abdullah.

Abdullah was reported to have taken note of the grouses in a notebook.

Monday, Dr Mahathir repeated his criticisms on Abdullah at a press conference.

The renewed tirade from Dr Mahathir has elicited comments from ministers and senior Umno politicians coming out in defence of the prime minister.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government would respond to Dr Mahathir's allegations and on Abdullah's leadership.

Najib said Abdullah would give a "long and detailed" answer to all the questions and clarifications sought by his predecessor.

"I have spoken to Pak Lah (Abdullah) and he is prepared to answer the issues raised by Tun Dr Mahathir in great detail. The answers will be given at a meeting or in writing...it's up to the Prime Minister," said Najib, who was also at the open house.


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Oct 24, 2006

Salam Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin

ProMahathir wishes all readers Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Oct 23, 2006

No Ban On Dr M To Meet Umno Members, Says Mat Taib

No Ban On Dr M To Meet Umno Members, Says Mat Taib

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 (Bernama) -- It is not true and has been misinterpreted the claim by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that he was barred from meeting Umno members, says party information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.

Instead, he said, party members did not want to see the former prime minister seizing such opportunities to criticise the party leadership, particularly Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"The perception that there is a ban on Dr Mahathir not to meet party members or open divisional delegates conferences is actually not a condition imposed.

"But Umno, especially divisional leaders, feel he will criticise the leadership, especially Pak Lah. So, we don't like the forum to be used to attack the party," he told Bernama when responding to Dr Mahathir's remark that there were attempts to stop him from talking to party members.

Dr Mahathir, who is also former Umno president, made the remark after a "one-on-one" meeting with Abdullah at the prime minister's official residence "Seri Perdana" in Putrajaya Sunday.

Touching on the meeting regarded as a success as Abdullah had the opportunity to hear directly the grievances of Dr Mahathir, Muhammad said the prime minister was open-minded and receptive to views from others.

On postponement of the Umno elections which Dr Mahathir disagreed, Muhammad said this was not a problem as the supreme council had deferred the elections in the past.

"This has been in practice," said the former Selangor Menteri Besar.

Responding to Dr Mahathir's stand that he would continue to criticise the current administration if he felt something detrimental to the country was done, Muhammad said: "Dr Mahathir is free to give his views but he must let Pak Lah to run the country.

"Pak Lah is the prime minister now, we have only one prime minister whom we support."


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Chronology Relating To Spats Between Dr Mahathir And Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad met Sunday after months of public spats between them.

It all started when the former premier raised several issues, including the issuance of approved permits and the fate of national car manufacturer, Proton.

The government's explanations failed to satisfy Dr Mahathir.

The conflict heightened after Abdullah on April 12 announced the cancellation of the bridge project to replace the Johor Causeway.

Following are the chronology of events after the bridge project was scrapped.

* April 27 - Dr Mahathir gave a 16-point reasoning for the bridge's construction after he could not accept the government's reasoning for calling off the project.

* May 14 - Dr Mahathir said his opinion differed with the government's only on the bridge's cancellation.

* May 28 - Abdullah met Dr Mahathir in Tokyo but no issues were discussed.

* June 9 - Dr Mahathir criticised Abdullah's administration and said that he was only seeking answers to his earlier questions.

* July 14 - Dr Mahathir hurled allegations over the cancellation of the bridge project, forcing the government to declassify several confidential documents and made them public.

* July 19 - Abdullah said he had no problems with Dr Mahathir despite the latter's criticisms.

* July 25 - Dr Mahathir admitted that Malacca Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Khalil Yaakob met him. Khalil was said to be the mediator between Abdullah and Dr Mahathir.

* July 28 - There were talks that Dr Mahathir wanted to be prime minister again but he flatly denied this.

* July 28 - Dr Mahathir was attacked by pepper spray on his visit to Kelantan.

* Aug 8 - Dr Mahathir again denied talks that he was eyeing the prime minister's post.

* Aug 9 - Dr Mahathir said he would continue to seek answers from the government, two days after Abdullah appeared in a television interview to refute allegations of nepotism and cronyism.

* Aug 11 - Perak Ex-Elected Reps Association (Mubarak) planned to arrange a meeting between Abdullah and Dr Mahathir to settle their differences.

* Aug 13 - Abdullah refused to comment on a remark by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz that Dr Mahathir's incessant attacks on the government were aimed at bringing him down.

* Sept 11 - Dr Mahathir, who failed in his bid to be a Kubang Pasu Umno division delegate to the party's general assembly in November, blamed it on corruption.

* Sept 12 - Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak asked Dr Mahathir to lodge a complaint with the Umno disciplinary committee on his allegation of corruption in the Kubang Pasu election.

* Oct 18 - Abdullah and Dr Mahathir agreed to meet before Aidilfitri.

* Oct 22 - They met at the prime minister's official residence in Putrajaya.


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Oct 22, 2006

Tun Mahathir won't stop attacks on govt despite peace talks with PM

Extracted from ChannelNewsAsia
Malaysia's Mahathir won't stop attacks on govt despite peace talks with PM

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's former premier Mahathir Mohamad refused Sunday to end his attacks on the government, despite talks with his successor which had raised hopes for a resolution to the damaging feud.

Mahathir met with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for two hours Sunday to address the very public verbal brawling that has sent shockwaves through the ruling party and raised fears of government instability.

The feisty 82-year-old political veteran, who now publicly regrets handing the top job to Abdullah in 2003, described the atmosphere as "cordial" but indicated he was not pleased with the results.

"I can't say I am happy, I am satisfied I am able to say these things directly to him," Mahathir told reporters.

"I will continue to criticise if I feel something is done which is not beneficial to the country," he added.

Mahathir said he "stated all that was in my heart" during the meeting, and that Abdullah responded on most issues including allegations that his influential son-in-law is the power behind the throne.

He said Abdullah also addressed Mahathir's charges that his son had gained improperly from government contracts, and "my allegation that we have become a police state".

Mahathir said Abdullah told him that only opposition figures -- including ousted deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim who was sacked and jailed in 1998 and who is now making a political comeback -- benefited from the stream of criticisms.

"He said each time I do these things, I become more unpopular, and he also lost his popularity because of my criticism."

"But he recorded in his little book... all that I said, and it was quite thick. I hope that after this, there will be action that will be taken."

Abdullah and Mahathir last week agreed to the meeting at the urging of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) which has ruled Malaysia for the past four decades.

Mahathir, infuriated by the axing of projects conceived during his two decades in power, including an abandoned proposal to build a new bridge to Singapore, has accused Abdullah of incompetence, nepotism and corruption.

The peace talks came as a surprise following months of rhetoric from Mahathir, who has complained he is now a pariah in the party he once ruled with an iron fist.

The meeting was hailed as a valuable opportunity to thrash out their differences in private, but some political figures have said they fear the fractures are too deep to be quickly resolved. - AFP/ir

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Dr M meets Pak Lah in PM's residence

Extracted from MalaysiaKini
Dr M meets Pak Lah in PM's residence

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his handpicked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met at the PM's residence in Putrajaya at 3pm today.

Mahathir was seen leaving at 5.10pm but did not talk to reporters who were waiting outside the building.

He smiled and waved as he left Abdullah's residence in the administrative capital in a black Mercedes after the two-hour meeting.

Not knowing exactly where the meeting was to be held, reporters had earlier today camped outside a number of possible venues, including the Umno headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre.

There are no immediate details of what had transpired at the meeting. Mahathir is expected to break fast tonight at the home of his eldest son, Mirzan.

Abdullah and Mahathir last week agreed to hold talks to try to resolve their differences after months of public brawling which sent shockwaves through the ruling party, and brought warnings the government could be destabilised.

Both sides said they want to meet before the Hari Raya festival, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and is expected to be held Tuesday.

Mahathir has said that at the meeting he will raise the issues that he has "been keeping in my heart" since he handed the top job to Abdullah in 2003 - a decision he now says he regrets.

Infuriated by the axing of pet projects conceived during his two decades in power, including an abandoned proposal to build a new bridge to Singapore, Mahathir has accused Abdullah of incompetence, nepotism and corruption.

The peace talks come as a surprise following months of rhetoric from Mahathir, the 81-year-old firebrand who has complained he is now a pariah in the party he once ruled with an iron fist.

Heart-to-heart private talks

Deputy prime minister Najib Razak, Abdullah's heir-apparent, has hailed the prospects of the talks.

"Umno has been hoping for both leaders to meet and have a heart-to-heart talk. This cannot be solved by open statements," he said last week.

"If they can meet face-to-face they can talk privately and may be make it easier to explain issues and decisions made by the government."

However, other political figures have said that the differences between the pair are too wide to be bridged in a meeting, and that they are sceptical the talks will stem Mahathir's damaging criticisms.

Abdullah has largely declined to respond to his predecessor's accusations, and ruled out backing down on any of the decisions which riled Mahathir.

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PM and Dr M to meet on Sunday, 3pm at Secret Location

Secret location for secret meeting?

Extracted from TheStar
PM and Dr M to meet on Sunday

ALOR STAR: The meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be held at 3pm today.

The meeting will take place at an undisclosed location in Putrajaya, according to sources.

It is learnt that the meeting was initiated by Umno veteran Tan Sri Azahari Taib.

It is understood that Azahari had met both parties and convinced them they should meet up to settle their differences for the sake of Umno.

Abdullah has also accommodated Dr Mahathir’s wish for a two-day notice prior to the meeting.

Dr Mahathir had said he would tell Abdullah whatever he felt deep in his heart, as advised by the Mubarak, an association of former elected representatives.

“I have actually said (in public) whatever I need to say. I will repeat them when I meet Pak Lah in person,” Dr Mahathir said in Langkawi on Tuesday.

Dr Mahathir also said he would accept the invitation to attend the Umno general assembly next month.

Asked about the meeting yesterday at Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's Deepavali open house, Abdullah declined comment.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said people should not speculate too much on the Abdullah-Dr Mahathir meeting.

He said the meeting was a private matter and some things should be kept secret. He asked the media to respect the privacy of the meeting.

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Abdullah-Mahathir Meeting: Pak Lah Gives No Clue To Date Or Venue

No Talk, No PEACE?

Extracted from BERNAMA
Abdullah-Mahathir Meeting: Pak Lah Gives No Clue To Date Or Venue

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 (Bernama) -- The guessing game on the meeting between Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continues as the prime minister declines to say anything on their meeting date and venue.

Swarmed by reporters after attending the Deepavali open house hosted by Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Abdullah kept mum to questions posed by reporters who followed him from Dewan Merdeka of the Putra World Trade Centre to his official car parked outside the hall.

Abdullah and Dr Mahathir had agreed to meet before Hari Raya Aidilfitri to discuss issues raised by the former prime minister.

Dr Mahathir had openly criticised Abdullah for reversing some of his policies including scrapping the "crooked bridge" project to replace the Johor Causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore.

There are no conditions or mediators for the "four-eye" meeting.

Abdullah had confirmed that he would meet Dr Mahathir before Hari Raya. Hari Raya is expected to fall on Tuesday.

With only two days to go for Hari Raya, many are eagerly waiting when the two leaders will meet and to what extent the closed-door meeting will resolve the differences between them.

Dr Mahathir had said he would raise again the issues that he had been keeping in his heart since he left the government.

The meeting was proposed by Mubarak, the former elected representatives' council.

Abdullah wished Malaysian Indians of Hindu faith a Happy Deepavali while walking towards his car.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, ministers, corporate figures and community leaders were among the 10,000-odd guests at the open house.


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