PUTRAJAYA, March 14 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has left it to Umno Youth to take action against Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, who is an executive committee member of the movement, for asking him to step down as the prime minister.
"I am leaving it to Datuk Seri Hishammuddin (Tun Hussein, the Umno Youth chief) to take the appropriate action (against Mukhriz), he told Bernama in an interview at Seri Perdana, the official residence of the Prime Minister here.
He said this when asked to comment on a letter written by Mukhriz and sent to the Prime Minister whereby Mukhriz had urged Abdullah to take responsibility for the Barisan Nasional's poor performance in Saturday's general election and step down as the prime minister.
"A day before he sent the letter to me, he issued a statement voicing support for me and that collective responsibility must be taken for what happened and several other statements that were seen as positive to me.
"Suddenly he has made an about turn... just a day after that he sent the letter, not only to me but also Datuk (Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) and the whole country. "To me this is not good way or approach. This is one reaction from him as a member of Umno Youth, which has already taken a decision to support me and the party leadership.
"He has also stated I and Najib should be supported to lead the party and government...this (letter asking Abduallh to step down) contradicst the stand taken by Umno and the Umno Youth movement," said Abdullah.
In KUALA LUMPUR, Hishammuddin had earlier said that if it was true that Mukhriz had indeed sent such a letter, it was done in his personal capacity.
Umno Youth stood by its earlier statement that it was solidly behind Abdullah as Umno president and Najib as deputy president, he said in a statement sent to Bernama.
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