Najib understands problems betterFORMER Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has a reputation of being a feisty statesman. Today got the rare chance to meet him at his office in Putrajaya — the city that he personally designed — yesterday. He was all smiles and subtlety as he talked about the general election and his nation's political future, but his views are razor-sharp as ever, as Nazry Bahrawi (firstname.lastname@example.org) found out.on THE RULING COALITIONThe Barisan Nasional has just released its report card. What are your opinions on its achievements since 2004, when Mr Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's first term as Prime Minister began?DR M: There are of course a lot of negative things that are not in the report card. For example, lots of money is being lost, the prestige of the nation has gone down and the fact is a lot of people cannot find work or business in the country. They have to go elsewhere. Which achievements would you take issue with?Islam Hadhari has caused a lot of confusion. There is only one Islam and now they are told that they are followers of Islam Hadhari or modern Islam as if it is a new religion. With regards to the new development corridors, they are just announcements. Nothing has happened on the ground. The amount of money involved is fantastic. It goes into trillions of ringgit and it will happen over a period of maybe 10 to 20 years. So, these are promises. Anybody can make a promise. How do you see leadership succession panning out in Umno (the United Malays National Organisation) and Malaysia as a whole?We have certain traditions. Unfortunately, some traditions have partly been broken. For example, no one is allowed to contest leadership position. The Prime Minister determines who the leader will be and any challenge towards the leadership is not permitted. However, some people are actually called up and told not to stand. This is not Umno tradition at all. In an earlier interview, you suggested that Mr Abdullah should make way for Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Why did you say that?I said that I thought he should be PM for one term and that he should be succeeded by Datuk Seri Najib because Datuk Seri Najib is senior to him. From the speeches that he (Najib) makes, he understands problems much better. He does not seem to be concerned about making sure that any support for the previous government was wrong. What do you think of the possibility of Mr Hishamuddin Hussein or Mr Khairy Jamaluddin playing a bigger role in Umno after the elections?
I think if you follow them, it will be disastrous for the party.
Read the whole interview, HERE.
(Thanks Skilganon, for the link. I am in Bahau now doing this posting after reading your comment. Left Rambau an hour or so ago on the way to Pekan).