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There’ll be continuity under Najib

PUTRAJAYA, 31 March 2009: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today he is convinced that Datuk Seri Najib Razak will continue to implement ideas and programmes initiated during his administration after his deputy takes over as the sixth prime minister of Malaysia.

“He will continue (with the projects)…I believe (that)…I just work on the basis of believing that if you do something that is good, if you continue, it will bring more good. I do not see any reason why it should be stopped,” he said before hosting a luncheon for editors of the mainstreams media at Sri Perdana here.

He said the programmes included the various development corridors and the  Islam Hadhari (Civilisational Islam) concept.

However, he said, Najib might see it fit to make adjustments to the programmes as and when necessary.

Asked whether he would be angry if Najib did not continue with what he had planned and implemented, as had happened with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad he said: “No, I will not (be angry).”

Abdullah said he had spent hours talking to Najib on many issues pertaining to the country just like he had with Mahathir before.

He said he would not criticise Najib and would be very supportive of the government as he still had a role to play as a Member of Parliament.

Asked what role he would play after his retirement, Abdullah said he preferred Najib to make the announcement.

On the actual date of the hand-over of the premiership, he said he did not want to say anything more until he had an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Asked whether he felt that he did not have time to complete all his programmes during his six-year tenure as Prime Minister, he said his 2004 election manifesto contained initiatives leading towards the achievement of the Vision 2020.

Howeverhe did not have any ambition to serve more than two terms or the entire period until 2020 and be in a position to declare that Malaysia is already a developed country.

“(But) I expect continuity (on) most of the things I have already started,” he said.

A report on the initiatives and achievements of the government from November 2003 to March 2009 produced by the Prime Minister’s Deparment were circulated to the media later.

Abdullah was surprised when asked about his plan to live in a kampung-style house with a “perigi” (well) after his retirement.

“How did you know? There’s a well but it’s not deep,” he said.

Best and worst achievements

Abdullah also described the outcomes of the 2004 and 2008 general elections as his greatest and worst achievements.

Abdullah, who is the Barisan Nasional chairperson, led the coalition to its best-ever victory in March 2004 after being sworn in as the fifth prime minister in October 2003, sweeping 199 of the 219 parliamentary seats.

However, the ruling coalition lost for the first time in 39 years its two-third majority in Parliament in March last year and lost control of four state governments.

Asked whether his relationship with Mahathir would have been better if the government had not scrapped the plans to build the “crooked bridge” to replace the Johor Causeway, Abdullah said he did not have a pre-conceived idea on the matter before the decision was made to stop the project.

“We had to consider it…I didn’t have a pre-conceived idea about it…that I was going to stop it.

“This is one issue that has been brought up to the cabinet time and again,” he said, adding that the economy was in deficit during that time.

Abdullah also said that he had no regrets for promoting openness and freedom during his tenure, but he warned that there must limitations.

“There must be some moral limits…or you will be creating a lot of problems…creating anarchy. There must be self-control,” he said.

Everyone must think before raising an issue openly because “everyone has feelings and there are things that we must not bring up”. — Bernama


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