“Use votes wisely against corrupt & ‘deadwood’ leaders”, Tun Dr. Mahathir urged for ‘leadership cleansing’

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad urged the rakyat to use their votes wisely and elect people who are fit the lead the Government and rakyat. “Consider your votes for leaders who are not ‘deadwood’ and corrupt, as the party failed to ‘cleanse’ itself from these sort of people”. He said this in the media conference after the launching of “Dr. Mahathir’s selected letters to world leaders”, a book compiled and authored by former Malaysian Ambassador to the UN and NSTP Chairman Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad.

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He added the changes are required to be made as political parties failed to make the necessary changes within and did not manage to the “cleansing”, to stay relevant for the rakyat. This is a landmark call made by the former UMNO President and BN Chairman of 22 years and it contradicts his last year’s 10 February call in Johor Bahru, “For UMNO to not fear pre-matured leadership changes”.

When asked about how UMNO will react to this, Tun Dr. Mahathir was seen today as explicitly expressing his displeasure of the morbid “Yesman” mentality of the UMNO leadership, middle level management and some members resorted to, since he left the office. In his own words, “Corrections required!”.

“Orang Melayu sokong parti, tak kira calon”

However, he did also say that he BN should win and continue to lead country, as it has been the past fifty years. His reservations clearly demonstrated that he was gravely unhappy on the fact that some leaders use the mandate the rakyat gave to BN, especially UMNO, as a self-fulfilling endorsement for some leaders to trump up their own beating drums and blow their horns, where else in actual fact, these leaders are worthy to be considered as “deadwoods”.

Amongst the questions raised in the PC were about international issues. One of the current issue highlighted is the ‘Seige of Gaza’. In reference to what been documented in the book, Tun Dr. Mahathir who on several counts wrote to world leaders and explained about Islam said the OIC leaders now no longer interested and bothered about the suffering of the Palestinian people. At best, they would just throw intangible support. It clearly showed that he was not happy with the current OIC leadership, who till now, failed to react something tangibly to ease the suffering of Gazans, under constant shelling and absolute blockage.

When asked about the US economy, he said that although the US Government is almost bankrupt with too much deficit and the system is too heavily geared, the world can’t afford to allow the US economy to crash as it will bring a spirally catasthrophic effect to the the rest of world economy.

Issues of corruption were raised during the PC. When asked about him being associated with nepotism and cronyism practices when he was the Prime Minister ten years ago, he explained that he had cleared all these unfounded allegations, as he don’t even know many of those who managed to get contracts and business opportunities. Unlike today, many of these business people are complaining as business opportunities are hard to come by and what ever left available goes to the same small group of people and GLCs.

Tun Dr. Mahathir also repeated that when he left office, he made sure that the economy was well and there is enough to sustain all the so-called ‘Mega projects’ launched during his tenure. When PM ‘Flip-Flop’ took over, he decided to halt and psotpone most of these projects, as his ‘people’ argued that it were “Not the best use of resources”. Later, they discovered that these projects were necessary to stimulate and sustain growth in the economy and when he revived these projects, the cost have gone up.

This is the second ‘strike’ former Tun Dr. Mahathir lashed against PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah, since the Reuters interview yesterday, after he underwent a second coronary arterial by-pass graft surgery on 4 September 2007. He had been out of the Malaysian political scene, since then.

Earlier, in his speech, he said that he had to explain to world leaders. including President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair on issues like in Bosnia and Croatia. He also said that Muslims are not anti Jews. Infact, Muslims are kinder to Jews, compared to the Christians in the middle ages and renaissance. Example he quoted that the Christians labeled the Jews as “The ones who betrayed Jesus” and they were persecuted. Jews who fled persecution, find solace and sanctuary amongst Muslims, in countries like Morrocco, Syria and Turkey.

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In the opening address, book author Tan Sri Abdullah “Dollah Kok Lanas” Ahmad said that the book was about telling the truth on hos it happened and it is not about ‘flattery’. He described Tun Dr. Mahathir as “Sometimes, he talked too much. BUT he performs!”. He also described the current political scene as “Domestic politics has become dark!”. He summarised that the book is a good study for international politics and diplomacy.

Over 200 people attended the event, which include envoys from diplomatic missions to Malaysia and corporate leaders. Veteran politicians and media editors were also present.

*Photo uploaded from Rocky’s Bru, at 5.00pm

*Updated as at 5.30pm, Wednesday 30 January 2008

 

This is the AFP’s report of the same PC:

Malaysian PM overstaying his welcome: Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Malaysia‘s former premier Mahathir Mohamad said Wednesday he never intended his successor Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to serve more than one term and suggested he should stand down.

Abdullah, who has had a very public falling out with the veteran leader, will contest for his second term in general elections expected to be held in March.

Mahathir previously said he made a mistake in picking Abdullah, and should have opted for influential deputy prime minister Najib Razak.

“That was my thinking, since (Abdullah) was older than Najib, he should be PM for one term and then Najib should be able to take over,” he told a press conference.

“I know it takes time to implement plans and projects but I think if that is to be used as an excuse to stay in power for 18 years then that will not be very welcome.”

Abdullah won a landslide victory in 2004 polls when voters were enthused by his plans to fight corruption, but since then he has been widely criticised for inaction and suffered a steep tumble in popularity.

In recent months he has faced an unprecedented wave of public protests over the rights of minority ethnic Indians, as well as electoral reform and rising food and fuel prices.

“They see a government that is retreating and they want to take advantage,” Mahathir said of the street rallies which would have been unthinkable during his term in power which ended in 2003 after more than two decades.

Abdullah was Mahathir’s hand-picked successor when he stepped down, but after the new leader dumped several of his pet projects he began launching accusations of economic mismanagement, nepotism and corruption.

 “An update as of 6.30pm, Wednesday 30 January 2008

This is MStar online’s report:

Jangan sokong tunggul kayu, calon korup, nasihat Dr M

30-01-2008 05:59:34 PM

Oleh SA’ODAH ELIAS

PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad berkata beliau bersedia turun padang membantu Barisan Nasional dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang dengan syarat calon yang diletak adalah mereka yang terdiri dari kalangan orang yang bersih dan amanah.

Bekas perdana menteri itu berkata, dengan cara itu, beliau berharap satu “pembersihan” akan dapat dilakukan di negara ini memandangkan Barisan Nasional sudah pasti akan menang sekali lagi walaupun majoriti kemenangan tidak sebaik pada 2004.

“Pembersihan melalui pilihan raya sahaja harapan kita untuk memperbaiki keadaan di negara ini kerana ia adalah mustahil untuk dilakukan dari dalam Umno kerana sudah tidak wujud sedikit pun kebebasan di dalam parti itu,” katanya.

Beliau mendakwa “segala-galanya dalam Umno dikawal ketat dan semua orang tidak dibenarkan mempunyai pendirian berbeza, dan sesiapa sahaja yang mempunyai pandangan yang bertentangan dengan pucuk pimpinan pasti menerima padah.”

“Kita kini sudah hilang keupayaan untuk membuat perubahan dalam barisan kepimpinan parti kerana kawalan yang sangat ketat di dalam Umno,” katanya pada sidang media selepas majlis ulasan buku yang mempaparkan sebahagian surat-surat yang ditulis beliau kepada pemimpin dunia ketika masih memegang jawatan perdana menteri, Rabu.

Dr Mahathir berkata beliau sangat sedar mengenai risiko yang dihadapi dengan membuat kenyataan sedemikian kerana beliau mendakwa sudah pasti akan “disumpah” ramai pemimpin Umno, termasuk orang-orang yang dahulunya penyokong kuat beliau dalam parti dan pernah dilantik sebagai menteri oleh beliau.

“Bagaimanapun saya berharap, sayang kita pada negara cukup besar untuk kita meletakkan kepentingan negara mengatasi yang lain dengan memastikan hanya calon yang layak dan bersih dipilih,” katanya.

Dr Mahathir bagaimanapun menegaskan bahawa beliau tidak sekali-kali akan berkempen untuk pembangkang tetapi akan cuba menyedarkan rakyat bahawa sokongan mereka kepada BN mestilah bertempat dan mestilah berasaskan akal waras.

“Sekiranya orang yang seperti tunggul dan korup dicalonkan, walaupun jika mereka mewakili BN, rakyat tidak patut memberikan sokongan. Dengan cara itulah sahaja kita dapat membersihkan kerajaan,” tegasnya.

Beliau juga melahirkan kebimbangan bahawa isu-isu agama yang dipolitikkan dan isu perkauman akan menjadi intipati kempen pilihan raya akan datang.

“Dulu pun kita bukannya berjaya mencapai keharmonian kaum dalam erti kata sebenarnya, tetapi sekurang-kurangnya keadaan terkawal, tetapi kini segala tindakan diambil berasaskan sentimen perkauman dan agama.

“Lihat sahaja apa yang dilakukan oleh Hindraf. Saya tidak menyokong tindakan itu, tetapi itulah yang berlaku apabila kerajaan dilihat terlalu lemah.

“Apabila kita tidak pandai menyelesaikan masalah sesama kita (dalam BN), kita tunjukkan bahawa kita lemah dan terlalu sangat mengalah, sudah pasti ada pihak yang akan cuba mengambil kesempatan daripada kelemahan itu,” katanya.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 30, 2008 at 15:02  Comments (7)