Oct 2, 2008

PM Abdullah To Brief BN Leaders On Transition Plan After Aidilfitri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he would set a date after Hari Raya Aidilfitri for a meeting with leaders of Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties to brief them on the leadership transition plan.

"When we meet ... we will have discussions ... after (Hari) Raya (Aidilfitri)," he told reporters at the Aidilfitri open house of the prime minister and other Muslim Cabinet ministers at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here.

He was asked to comment on a news report that some BN leaders were unhappy for not having been consulted on a change in the transition plan.

Under the original plan, Abdullah, the Umno president, was to have handed over power to Deputy Prime Minister and Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in June 2010.

However, it was decided later that the transition of power take place earlier than that date, and the Umno general assembly scheduled for December this year has been postponed to March next year to facilitate this.

Abdullah, when announcing the postponement of the Umno general assembly, had said that he would make a decision by Oct 9 on seeking re-election as party president.

Umno divisional meetings will be held over a month from Oct 9, and nominations will be made for the posts of party president, deputy president, vice-presidents and supreme council members.

At the Aidilfitri reception today, Abdullah said he had conveyed the decision on the transition plan to some of the BN leaders informally when he met them but that a proper briefing for all BN leaders would be held after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Asked whether he was sad that this could be his last Hari Raya Aidilfitri as the prime minister now that the transition plan was being brought forward, Abdullah said he was happy as usual.

"I am in a good mood. I am celebrating Raya. Do I look different?" he said with a smile. On the Aidilfitri open house, Abdullah said the size of the crowd was similar to last year's and he hoped that people would take advantage of the festival to make visits to open house.

Abdullah said Aidilfitri had become a national event, an enjoyable occasion for everyone.

Speaking during interviews with Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) and TV3, he said: "The visitors are from all races. We have tourists and foreigners too. The spirit of Raya is there and it (the festival) is being celebrated by all the races."

The prime minister said Malaysians must utilise festivals like Aidilfitri to strengthen unity among the various races by visiting one another.

"This will directly strengthen our unity. We should be united not only during festivals but at all times. We can organise more events which attract a multi-racial crowd and this will foster better understanding among the races," he said.

Meanwhile, Najib, interviewed by the two television stations at the same open house, said the current global economic crisis had not in any way dampened the spirit of Hari Raya.

"We need not be unduly worried about the economy because our fundamentals are good and I see that the global economic problem has not affected the Hari Raya celebrations," said Najib, who is also the finance minister.

He said that while the world economy was undergoing various problems, Malaysia was well insulated due to its fundamentals.

"We do not expect a major backlash from the global economic crisis. There will be a backlash but it would not be major, as experienced by many other nations," he added.

No comments: