|September 12, 2008 14:51 PM|
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Bernama) — Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has left it to the Umno members to decide when the transition of power within the party should take place.
“As everybody knows, the transition plan was decided upon in July by the prime minister and myself and was endorsed by the (Umno) supreme council.
“I’ve held meetings with the Umno divisional chiefs and I’ve stated that the plan must get the support of the Umno divisions, especially at this year’s delegates meetings,” he said after opening the Guangdong-Malaysia Business Conference here today.
“So, because Umno is a party that practises democracy, the matter must be decided by the party members through its internal process, namely at the divisions’ annual meetings,” he said.
Under the plan, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is to hand over the posts of prime minister, Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president to Najib in June 2010.
On Wednesday, Umno vice-president and International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin called on both leaders to reconsider the 2010 transition plan as he said the time-frame was too long.
Yesterday, Abdullah said that he was surprised by Muhyiddin’s statement as the transition plan had been understood and agreed upon by the Umno supreme council and the cabinet.
Speaking on another matter, Najib said the Barisan Nasional government was not unduly worried about the intention of four Pakatan Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) members of Parliament (MPs) to go to Taiwan to join a group of 41 Barisan Nasional MPs who are there on an agriculture study tour.
The group of four, comprising PKR information chief Tian Chua, strategic director Saifuddin Nasution, election bureau head Fauziah Salleh and supreme council member Low Chee Choeng, is supposed to leave for Taiwan at 2pm today.
This is seen as a move by the opposition party to entice BN MPs to hop over in an effort to form a new government by Sept 16, as declared by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Najib said: “He (Anwar) is playing all kinds of political games now. Don’t get carried away. He can go everywhere, even Antarctica. I don’t think the BN members will cross over.”
Asked whether the BN would do anything to stop the PKR MPs from meeting the BN MPs in Taiwan, he said: “There’s no need to. They (BN MPs) have no intention of crossing over. They know what to do”
On another matter, Najib said Umno had yet to receive the application form of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who left Umno in May, to rejoin the party.
Tun Dr Mahathir, after a meeting with several Umno leaders, including Muhyiddin, a few days ago had agreed in principle to return to Umno, which is the backbone of the ruling BN.
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