Nov 18, 2006

Mukhriz Is Irrational, Refuses To Accept Reality - Ahmad Zahid

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 (Bernama) -- Deputy Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi Saturday described Umno Youth executive council member Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir as "irrational" and refuses to accept the reality" when he made the offensive remark belittling the policy speech by Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when opening the Umno General Assembly on Wednesday.

Zahid expressed regret over Mukhriz's remark that Abdullah's keynote address at the assembly offered nothing new and that he was "little bit" disappointed as it was similar to the speech delivered last year.

He said Mukhriz, who is also the son of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, need to come to terms that Abdullah, who has the Umno members' support, is now the prime minister and Umno president.

"He has to face the reality that leaders come and go...former leaders are respected, current leaders are loved...we must have these qualities," he told reporters after closing a forum of the Information Ministry's special affairs department officers.

Zahid said Mukhriz, who was voted in as an Umno Youth executive council member with the highest votes, had also tarnished the movement's image as if Umno Youth leaders did not reflect collective decision in keeping with the spirit of the resolution that the movement tabled to adopt and support the president's address.

On Umno Youth leadership's reluctance to take action against Mukhriz, he said Mukhriz was fortunate because if Abdullah was not the Umno president or the post was still held by former Umno presidents, he could have been sacked from the party or hauled up for disciplinary action.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein had said his movement was not responsible for Mukhriz's remarks as it was his personal stand and sentiments.

Ahmad Zahid, also an Umno supreme council member, also asked Mukhriz not to take advantage of Abdullah's "soft" nature to "stab him and give negative comments from behind."

"Mukhriz said Abdullah's speech offered nothing new because he was already prejudiced in his heart and the prejudice had changed to hatred ...when hatred overcomes rational, then the mind and heart are close," he said.

He said irrationality should not be seen when making remarks if someone wants to become a leader.

Ahmad Zahid said Umno delegates also gave similar feedback that Mukhriz's "adoration" to his father has taken precedence over the truth, rendering him to not accept the reality that the person he had "idolised" was no longer in his position.

On the forum, the deputy minister said it was aimed at getting feedback from observers and delegates outside the assembly hall during the three-day Umno General Assembly.

He said all issues, be they positive or negative, received have been compiled in a report and handed to the party leadership.

"There are some positive and negative feedback and have been handed to the top leadership...they're getting the truth of the real situation during the debates as well as outside the debates," he said.

Overall, he said, the feedback received was satisfactory, including on the president's policy speech which contained solid facts.

"The reports given to me and the notes I received showed every paragraph of Pak Lah's speech had important information and Pak Lah's speech was not rhetoric.

"Only in terms of delivery, Pak Lah's presentation that cannot be changed, it's his style...different leaders have their own style.

"Hence, we cannot merely see the presentation, but also look into the contents," he said.

"For instance, when the speech is compiled into a book and distributed to the public, especially to observers, they said the speech was clearer and understandable when they read it.

"...because when the speech is delivered, they're not able to focus as there are too many facts inside which they don't understand.

"We must read not only what is written and also the unwritten in the speech," he added.

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