PUTRAJAYA, 17 Sept 2008: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the leadership transition which had been agreed upon by him and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 2010 can take place much earlier.
“The timing is flexible. It is possible, if I may want to leave earlier but not beyond 2010,” the prime minister told a news conference at his office here.
Najib was also present at the news conference.
Abdullah said the transition plan however, would depend, among others, on Najib’s performance.
Pressed further on the timing, Abdullah said, “It could be between now and June 2010.”
Saying that both leaders were committed to the succession plan, Abdullah said he would defend the Umno presidency at party polls in December while Najib had also confirmed that he would not challenge Abdullah for the post.
When asked further on the timeframe, Abdullah said, “It is not for you to ask and for me to say.”
Abdullah said the matter would be decided accordingly as the succession process takes place.
Najib concurred with Abdullah, saying they both had reached an agreement on the matter.
He hoped that the transition plan would be accepted by the party for the sake of the country’s stability and solidarity within the party.
Asked whether he (Najib) would accept any nomination for the presidency, Najib said, “We have already agreed to it. We are leaving it to the party.
We are offering ourselves, we hope the party will accept it.” — Bernama