Oct 19, 2006

PM's Willingness To Meet Dr M Reflects His Sincerity, Says Najib

The end of elegance silence?

Extracted from BERNAMA
PM's Willingness To Meet Dr M Reflects His Sincerity, Says Najib

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 18 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's willingness to meet with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to resolve whatever problems between them reflects the Prime Minister's sincerity although he had been harshly criticised earlier, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Deputy Prime Minister said Abdullah's willingness to meet with the former prime minister was something that was highly appreciated by the rakyat, particularly Umno members.

"The time is right for the Prime Minister and Tun Dr Mahathir to meet as it is also the wish of the majority of Umno members that both leaders could meet and have a heart-to-heart talk," he told reporters, here Wednesday.

Najib had earlier paid a courtesy call on Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont who is here on a one-day official visit.

Commenting further on the impending meeting between the two leaders, Najib said he was confident that all problems and dissatisfaction between the two could be voiced out in an amicable manner at the closed-door meeting.

"This matter cannot be resolved through public statements. If they can meet and have a heart-to-heart talk, they can voice out everything in private and maybe it will be easier for them to explain whatever issues and the decision made by the government," he said.

Najib, who is also Umno deputy president, said he and the party members certainly hoped that there would be a significant change in the relationship between Abdullah and Dr Mahathir after the meeting.

"We hope there will be a change, but we have to wait and see what happens at the meeting," he said.

The press today reported that Dr Mahathir had agreed to have a meeting with the Prime Minister very soon to ease tension between the two.

Abdullah, when commenting on the statement here today, said he was willing to meet with the former national leader to have a heart-to-heart talk.

Relations between Abdullah and Dr Mahathir became tense following the harsh criticism made by the former prime minister with regard to several decisions made by the Abdullah administration, including the cancellation of the bridge project to replace the Johor causeway.


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