Nov 3, 2006

Malaysia keeps Mahathir as Petronas, Proton adviser

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Malaysia's ruling party decided on Thursday that former premier Mahathir Mohamad can remain as adviser to two key state firms despite his scathing attacks on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

There have been growing calls within Abdullah's United Malays National Organisation that Mahathir, 81, be replaced as adviser to oil firm Petronas and car maker Proton .


"The Supreme Council took note of it and decided that (Mahathir) is not replaced as advisers to several government and semi-government bodies," Abdullah told reporters after a meeting of the party's decision-making arm.


Mahathir said on Wednesday that he would relinquish the posts if he was not wanted.

Relations between Abdullah and Mahathir are now at rock bottom, with each accusing the other of favouring their respective sons' business interests.

The two met on Oct. 22 in an attempt to patch up their quarrel, at the urging of elements of the main ruling party, but Mahathir renewed his attacks on Abdullah hours after the meeting, saying he had turned the country into a police state.

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