Nov 30, 2006

Umno Youth Accepts Mukhriz's Explanation, Apology - Hishammuddin

The famous word for 2006 - APOLOGY

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- The Umno Youth has accepted the apology by Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir after the movement was satisfied with his explanation over his remark on the presidential address by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when opening the 57th Umno General Assembly on Nov 15.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the unanimous decision was made by the Umno Youth executive council on the spirit of "togetherness" and hoped it would serve as a lesson.

"The explanation was given and apology sought over what has happened. We realise that a wrong is a wrong.

"(Nevertheless) our youth exco has accepted the explanation. We accept what Datuk Mukhriz had said with an open heart and this to a certain extent is a wisdom in ensuring our movement continues to be strong," he told reporters after chairing the movement's executive council meeting Thursday.

Hishammuddin said it was decided at the meeting that Mukhriz meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Umno president, to explain the issue.

"However, the date of the meeting has not been decided as it depends when the prime minister is free to meet him," he said, adding that the issue was discussed in a mature and calm atmosphere.

Mukhriz, who is also the son of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had said Abdullah's presidential speech offered nothing new than the previous one.

Asked for the gist of Mukhriz's explanation, Hishammuddin declined to divulge the contents, saying "what is important is that his explanation has been accepted by the Umno Youth exco."

Nevertheless, he said, Mukhriz was issued a stern warning not to repeat it.

"To me, this is a stern warning to Datuk Mukhriz and to our other friends to never repeat such things again because we've made big plans for our movement," said Hishammuddin, who is also Education Minister.

He denied assumptions that Mukhriz, who is also the movement's international relations and non-governmental organisations bureau chief, apologised following pressure from Umno Youth members.

"This is our firm stand, all of us who had the opportunity today stated our stand and none of us including Datuk Mukhriz himself who felt what was said on that day was not wrong, not right in principle, spirit of comradeship and in terms of what we've built in Umno Youth all this while," he said.

Asked whether the apology was made in written, Hishammuddin said: "No need in writing, we consider Datuk Mukhriz's explanation as an honest confession."

"With the explanation and apology, the movement considers the issue close," he said.

Meanwhile, Mukhriz, when met by reporters later, said he concurred with what was said by Hishammuddin.

Asked what was he going to explain in his meeting with Abdullah, he said: "Let that be between me and the prime minister."

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