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.

-- BERNAMA

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