Oct 14, 2006

PM Dismisses "Political Suicide" By Reversing Dr M's Decisions

Extracted from BERNAMA
PM Dismisses "Political Suicide" By Reversing Dr M's Decisions

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has dismissed the notion that he may be committing "political suicide" by reversing some of the decisions made by his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and be seen as rolling back on everything the latter had put in place.

Admitting that Dr Mahathir is still being held in the highest regard by many people after 22 years leading the country, the prime minister said he too commanded majority support.


"No, no, no, I don't think it's a political suicide. He has been saying a lot of things, I've decided to keep quiet and to go on doing what I want to do.

"And the people want me to do what I want to do. And I have and I still command majority support today," he said in an interview with Anjali Rao in the "Talk Asia" programme aired by Cable News Network (CNN) Saturday.


Abdullah also pointed out that not everybody appreciated it when Dr Mahathir began his criticism.

He, however, said despite his silence, he did not ignore Dr Mahathir's criticisms and have made necessary adjustments if the criticisms were relevant.

"And some I can't accept," he said when asked by Anjali if he ignored Dr Mahathir's criticism of him.

The prime minister also dismissed a suggestion that he was rolling back everything Dr Mahathir had put in place by calling off some mega projects namely a new bridge linking Malaysia and Singapore.

"Not everything he put in place. No. Vision 2020, his biggest achievement, that's my target too. That we share, I share the vision. I have developed what I call a national mission. The mission is very big in order to achieve that vision," he said.

Abdullah said he believed there were other things the Government could do to develop this country.

"We are very practical about our approach and the bridge has nothing to do with the life and death of Malaysia," he said.

To a question whether Malaysia could have achieved such a major success if Dr Mahathir did not rule the way he did, Abdullah said as the prime minister for 22 years, Dr Mahathir had achieved considerable success for the country.

"We are proud of his achievements. That's a fact," he said.

On Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew's remark on Sept 15 that Malaysian Chinese are being "systematically marginalised", Abdullah reiterated that it was a groundless allegation.

"Yes, it's groundless. And it is an issue that can cause unhappiness to many people. Why? Some may even regard it as tantamount to interfering with what we are doing.

"The Chinese in Malaysia are doing well. They are better off than the indigenous people, than the Malays," he said.

He said the Malaysian Chinese achieved what they have today because the Government provided them opportunities to be successful.

-- BERNAMA

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