Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dr M Will Not Support the Opposition, Says Mukhriz

Here's the Bernama story yesterday:

Umno Youth executive council member Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said his father, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would neither oppose the government nor support the opposition.
"My father will not in any way support the opposition. He has fought the opposition all his life," he said.
Mukhriz, who is also the movement's International Relations and Non-Governmental Organisations Bureau chairman, said this in commenting on newspaper reports today which quoted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as saying that there had been no "gentlemen's agreement" between him and Dr Mahathir that he would only serve as prime minister for one term.
Yesterday, the newspapers had reported Dr Mahathir saying as such.
He was approached by reporters for his comments on the issue after receiving a RM100,000 donation for Aman Malaysia's Gaza Humanitarian Fund from Cheras Umno and the Cheras Education Foundation, which were represented by Senator Datuk Wira Syed Ali Al-Habshee, here today.
Instead, Mukhriz, who is also Aman Malaysia's coordinator, said the opposition would try to manipulate the issue to its own advantage and attempt to cause confusion among the people so that they would be disunited.
"I think what is said by both of them strengthens Umno," he said.
He also said that remarks by Dr Mahathir that he would only support BN candidates (in the upcoming election) who were capable and deemed clean was in line with the Prime Minister wanting candidates with similar attributes.
"It is the same as what Pak Lah (Abdullah) mentioned (at an Umno briefing), that the factor of the candidate himself was 60 per cent while the party was only 40 per cent (for victory in the polls)," he said.
Mukhriz said what was meant by his father was that the BN would still be the preferred choice of the people if the candidates were able to serve them and their party sincerely and the coalition winning two-thirds majority, as before, would not be much of a problem.
"This is not the time to change direction, what is important is to continue with the leadership," he said.
Mukhriz added that Umno members must strengthen solidarity and not allow any party, especially the opposition, to split them.
Asked if he would be contesting in the election, Muhkriz, who is the Jitra Umno deputy head, said he left it to his division and the party leadership.
"It is not I who decide, but the Prime Minister. We can only voice our intentions. If not chosen, we will continue working for the party," he said.

On Dr Mahathir's remarks about the "gentlemen's agreement". Here's the thing -- I think they were taken out of context. Deliberate or otherwise.
I was at Dr Mahathir's Press conference. He was asked by someone to comment about claims of such an agreement purportedly made five years ago.
Dr Mahathir replied that if there was one, he would not be able to prove it.
He said when he made the decision to hand over power to Pak Lah, it was because he felt that Pak Lah was older than Najib and that after one term as PM, he'd let Najib take over.

It was wrong to report that "Dr Mahathir claimed the agreement was made in 2003 when he handed over the leadership to Abdullah but admitted that he had no way of proving it."

Dr Mahathir was asked to comment about claims that there was such an agreement in which Pak Lah was to hold office for a term before handing the leadership to Najib.

I thought there was a difference between him being asked to comment about such an agreement and him saying that YES, there is such an agreement in which blahblahblah...

4 comments:

Kata Tak Nak said...

He could have said NO. I am sure he is wily enough to know that whatever he says if not spelt out clearly could and would be used against him. Saying NO is definitely clearer and infact more economical.

Zawi said...

Nuraina,
Selective amnesia at its best. Both displayed it in different circumstances.

ketua krani said...

Nuraina,
Mahathir clearly wanted his answer to be vague. lets look at what you said actually happened

I was at Dr Mahathir's Press conference. He was asked by someone to comment about claims of such an agreement purportedly made five years ago.
Dr Mahathir replied that if there was one, he would not be able to prove it.
(Why would he say 'if there was one' if he did not to insinuate that there was one or to leave a lot of room for imagination on the part of the listener)
(As if adding flame to fire, he said that he would not be able to prove it. Now here is where his cunning brain went into overdrive. No one had even asked him to prove anything yet by saying that he could not prove it, Tun has suggested that someone else would be making denials of the existence of the agreement. In one single stroke he has stirred the imagination of the people as to the possibility of such an agreement and relieved himself of the burden of proof while casting aspersions on Pak Lah. Oh he's still good, very good).
Accordign to you:-
He said when he made the decision to hand over power to Pak Lah, it was because he felt that Pak Lah was older than Najib and that after one term as PM, he'd let Najib take over.
This further reinforces that there may have been an understanding between them and has the added benefit of insulting and belittling Pak Lah all at the same time. by suggesting that he handed over power to Pak Lah only out of respect for his age, Tun is implying that his former deputy may have few other redeeming qualities . The last sentence also suggests that Najib is the more capable of the two and he is also potrayed as a patient leader who will wait out his turn without complaint...
I believe he wanted the listeners imaginations to run amok and come to all sorts of dramatic conclusion.

I may think that Tun was responsible for many of the ails of Umno adn the country (money politics, corruption, cronyism, nepotism, senseless mega projects etc) but I still admire him as a politician. Give him an inch and he will rip open the pages of the media with the merest suggestion

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

ketua krani,

i suppose he did.

but you know...i think we have to report the article accurately, we canot put words in his mouth, as it were.
i think it makes a lot of difference when we reportit as it happened at the Press conference.

ok.. i wasn't giving the full details. but dr mahathir, i i remember correctly, said he was not aware of such an agreement (something to tha effect). and then said that if there was one, he would not be able to prove it.

anyway...i think the whole thing was misrepresented to say that dr mahathir said that there was a gentlemen's agreeement in which pak lah was to etc etc etc...

of course, the next day, they all asked Pak lah and Najib who both denied there ever was...

naughty.