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Abdullah expresses surprise over Muhyiddin’s statement on transition plan

PUTRAJAYA, 11 Sept 2008: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today expressed surprise over a statement by Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that his transition plan to step down in June 2010 was too long a wait.

Abdullah, who is also Umno president, said the Cabinet understood and agreed with the transition plan and the Umno Supreme Council had also agreed to it.

"I’m surprised that a member of my Cabinet should come up with that kind of statement. It is against what has been agreed to," he told reporters after chairing the 20th MSC Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting at his office here.

Abdullah was asked to comment on the statement yesterday in Singapore by Muhyiddin, who is also International Trade and Industry Minister, that the transition plan had "sunk away" and that people were not thinking about it anymore.

Abdullah also said he was surprised that Muhyiddin came up with such an opinion as he had agreed to that (transition plan) before. Under the plan for transition of power, Abdullah is to hand over the post of prime minister, the chairpersonship of the Barisan Nasional (BN) and the presidency of Umno to his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in June 2010.

Abdullah said: "I’m not staying on just for the pleasure. I tell you this is not work that I can regard as pleasure."

The prime minister said there were many political matters and problems that had to be attended to and "lots of programmes that I have already indicated that I must do my best to complete".

Abdullah said these included the reform of the judiciary and the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

"And I still have the IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission); a matter to look into, the last part of the police reform. At the same time, I have promised that we would like to achieve eradication of hardcore poverty.

"I would like to work very hard on it and, at the same time, there is a lot of work that needs to be done, to reform the Barisan Nasional (BN) and also to add more, to expand the (BN’s) capacity to serve the people," he said.

Abdullah said that as for Umno, there was also a lot to be done, as well as to help his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, to achieve the objectives of the stated programmes.

Asked whether he would ask Muhyiddin to explain why he had come out with such a statement, Abdullah said: "There is no need to ask me what I’m going to do."

On former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s decision to rejoin Umno, he said the subject was not discussed (at yesterday’s meeting of the Umno Supreme Council).

"My view alone is not enough … this is a matter for the party. I cannot make a stand on this," he said. Mahathir resigned from Umno on 19 May 2008. – Bernama

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