KUALA LUMPUR, 7 June 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today he has yet to decide on the position of Senator T Murugiah as Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department.
Najib said he would discuss with People’s Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk M Kayveas as well as seek guidance from the Registrar of Societies (ROS) before making any decision on the position of the former PPP supreme council member.
Speaking at a news conference after opening PPP’s 56th annual general assembly here today, Najib said he would make the decision at an appropriate time and would be guided by the ROS interpretation on the issue facing PPP.
“As you know, Datuk Murugiah’s position in the government is the prime minister’s prerogative.
“However, we are mindful that we are operating on a party system. So, let me sort out his position with respect to PPP first of all.
“I know he has been sacked but that has to be looked into by the ROS whether procedurally everything had gone accordingly. Later on, I will make the decision,” Najib said.
Kayveas and Murugiah are embroiled in a bitter struggle for the party leadership after Murugiah was “elected” PPP president at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Putrajaya on 24 May. The EGM however was deemed invalid by Kayveas.
Last Thursday, ROS said that Kayveas was PPP’s legitimate president for now pending investigations into complaints about the party.
On Murugiah, Najib said that that he (Murugiah) was not someone who was against Barisan Nasional (BN), but rather he was very supportive of BN’s policies and leadership and should ROS find PPP’s current structure to be illegitimate, he would be guided by the views.
In the same news conference, Kayveas stated that PPP would no longer use the word race to denote men and women of different ethnicity believing it would cause a barrier between Malaysians.
“The PPP will stop using the word race. It will not be called multi-racial or non-racial party. It will be called an All Malaysian Party. We urge the government not to use the word race to discriminate Malaysians in any form,” he said.
When asked about Kayveas’s views, Najib said: “Whatever views expressed by the (BN) component parties will be discussed at the cabinet meeting. We had actually considered making a review but there are certain forms which make it necessary to indicate one’s race and there are also forms which do not require it.”
Regarding the Ambalat issue, where the Indonesian media have reported that Malaysian naval forces were seen in the oil and gas-rich waters, Najib said there was no new development regarding the issue and it was still being discussed.
“It is a complex issue, that’s why we are still talking with Indonesia. It takes time. It’s not easy to resolve the Ambalat issue,” he added. — Bernama