KUALA LUMPUR, 1 Oct 2008: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today 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.
Speaking to reporters at the Aidilfitri open house of the prime minister and other Muslim ministers at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here, he was responding to news reports that some BN leaders were unhappy they were not consulted on the change in the transition plan.
Abdullah said he informally conveyed the decision on the transition plan to some BN leaders when he met them but a proper briefing for all BN leaders would be held.
Under the original plan, the Umno president was to have handed over power to Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak in June 2010.
However, it has since been decided that the transition occur earlier, and Umno’s general assembly scheduled for December 2008 has been postponed to March 2009 to facilitate this.
Abdullah, when announcing the postponement of the general assembly, said he would make a decision about seeking re-election as party president before divisional meetings which begin on 9 Oct.
Nominations for the posts of party president, deputy president, vice-presidents and supreme council members will be made at the month-long divisional meetings.
Asked whether he was sad that this could be his last Aidilfitri as prime minister, Abdullah said: “I am in a good mood. I am celebrating Raya. Do I look different?”
On the Aidilfitri open house, Abdullah said the size of the crowd was similar to last year’s and he hoped people would visit open houses to strengthen unity.
“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. — Bernama