Jul 28, 2008

Tun Mahathir - Don't repeat my 'mistake'

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged Umno members not to repeat his ‘mistake’ in backing Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to be prime minister.

“I admit I was wrong in choosing Abdullah as my successor. Now I regret because I didn’t think that ‘Mr Clean’ would not be that clean.

“I believe that Umno members and leaders at all levels who are angry with me (for anointing Abdullah) surely does not want to make the same mistake,” said Mahathir.

Mahathir added that Abdullah was also older than Najib Abdul Razak and no one objected to the succession plan at that time.

“(Following this) the Umno general assembly officiated (my choice) of Abdullah as deputy party president during the party elections.

“Thus, I assumed that the succession plan to Abdullah was not something that was not wanted by Umno. No one objected,” added Mahathir.

However, he notes that when Abdullah announced that he would step down as prime minister in 2010, it was well-received by all - Malays and non-Malays alike.

“No one pleaded for him to stay on. It is clear that everyone wanted him to step down,” he said.

Deals between PAS and Umno

“Backdoor” deals between PAS and Umno would further ruin Barisan Nasional, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

He said Umno should not leave out its partners when making deals with PAS.

Dr Mahathir was asked to comment on the high-level talks between PAS and Umno on issues concerning Malays and Islam.

He advised Umno not to turn its back on its partners in the coalition.

“What will MCA, Gerakan and MIC say?” he asked.

He warned that Barisan Nasional was already in ruins, with members of component parties “running away”.

“MCA leaders are leaving the party, Gerakan is being left behind, and the MIC will be left with only Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu at the rate members are leaving the party,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said Barisan could only be saved if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi steps down.

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