Mar 25, 2009

PM : 'Najib will take over as planned'

PM Abdullah Badawi has confirmed that he is leaving the post of President of UMNO and the post Prime Minister by the end of this month. He said nothing could stop the handover to Datuk Seri Najib.

NST : Nothing could stop the handover from taking place, he said at a press conference after a closed-door meeting with Umno delegates at Dewan Merdeka of the Putra World Trade Centre here.

Present were Najib and Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

Abdullah was asked on the move by two Umno members, Datuk Mazlan Harun and Datuk Kadar Shah Ninam Shah, who yesterday applied to the Registrar of Societies to suspend all Umno activities and de-register the party.

The two went to the ROS in Putrajaya, where they submitted a stack of documents alleging money politics in the party.

Abdullah said no one could stop the assembly or the transition. "Who is doing all this? It's impossible and it can never happen.

"How can anybody stop Umno from holding its assembly? They also cannot stop us from doing what we have agreed upon. Najib will be the (party) president once confirmation is given and the transition process (to Najib as prime minister) will take place."

Abdullah, however, did not refer to the transition at the meeting. "I did not touch on it at all because it is a topic that everyone knows about.

"What I emphasised was that party elections at all levels must be conducted smoothly."

He also commented on his last briefing to the delegates as president.

"What am I feeling? I was just as happy as I am. I am not the sentimental type. After all, I have been talking to them. I will be very happy to see Umno and Umno people doing well but if they cry, I will also cry."

Abdullah said he had been upset with some quarters in Umno, who had pressed unduly for a transfer of power.

"Yes (I was offended). Why disturb me? I know what I am supposed to do and I will do what I am supposed to do. I don't have to be disturbed."

On the suspension of Pas' and Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Harakah and Suara Keadilan respectively by the Home Ministry, Abdullah said there must have been valid reasons to warrant the three-month suspension.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar had said the suspension would take effect immediately following non-compliance by the newsletters.

Tengku Adnan said online media such as Malaysiakini were barred from covering the assembly because of their "irresponsible" reporting.

"If you report responsibly, we will let you come in but the reports so far are sickening."

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