Aug 5, 2008

Tun Mahathir raises the possibility of Rais to be No. 1

According to Tun Mahathir Mohamad one of those leaders that is willing to make sacrifices in order to restore the party to its former glory is Umno veteran Dr Rais Yatim.

(Malaysiakini) Umno veteran Dr Rais Yatim is one of those leaders willing to make sacrifices in order to restore the party to its former glory, according to Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former premier's stamp of approval for Rais came a day after Muhyiddin Yassin announced that he would not contest for the party president or deputy president but would instead defend his vice-president posts.

Mahathir, who had been Umno president for 22 years, lamented that the party cannot be nursed back to health as long as his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was at the helm.

Based on Mahathir's diagnosis, the remedy for the present Malay feeling of insecurity is not a merger or some kind or cooperation between PAS and Umno.

It lies in restoring Umno to its previous strength, said the medical doctor-turned-politician in a posting on his blog.

"There are several leaders in Umno who are qualified to take over from him (Abdullah). Leaders who are not influenced by the greed of their families, leaders who are willing to make sacrifices in order to restore the pre-eminent position of Umno within the Barisan Nasional.

"One of them could be Rais Yatim. Maybe in the end it would be (another Umno veteran) Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, with Rais as deputy," he said.

Both Razaleigh and Rais belonged to the camp which opposed Mahathir during the 1987 Umno leadership tussle. Rais was also a member of the now defunct Razaleigh-led splinter party Semangat 46.

However, the duo have since buried the hatchet with the former premier. Mahathir even appointed Rais to a cabinet position later.

After the March 8 polls, Abdullah appointed Rais - an Umno supreme council member - as foreign minister.

No comments: