Sep 11, 2008

PM surprised by Muhyiddin's call to hand over power earlier

PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today expressed surprise over remark made by Muhyiddin Yassin that calls for PM Abdullah to hasten his exit plan.

(Malaysiakini) Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today expressed surprise over senior cabinet colleague Muhyiddin Yassin's call for the premier to hasten his exit plan.

"I am not staying on just for the pleasure of staying on," said Abdullah today. He was visibly upset when reporters posed him the question on Muhyiddin's remarks.

The prime minister said that he had a lot of responsibilities and problems to solve before he handed over the leadership to his current deputy Najib Abdul Razak in 2010.

He said that the handover plan was agreed to by the cabinet, adding that Muhyiddin was merely stating his own opinion.

Yesterday International Trade and Industry Minister Muhyiddin said Abdullah should transfer power to Najib before the agreed 2010 deadline.

He said 2010 was too far away, and recent political setbacks by the ruling coalition should prompt Abdullah to rethink his timetable.

The Umno vice-president said an earlier leadership transition would give the Barisan Nasional ruling coalition time to prepare for the next general election.

"I'm being very frank and open because I have no qualms about saying what I think is correct: 2010 is too long," Muhyiddin was quoted as saying at the sidelines of a Forbes conference held in Singapore

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