Saturday, November 18, 2006

Lanjutan Isu Kenyataan
Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir:

Mahathir's Son
Under Fire
After Criticising PM

A son of former premier Mahathir Mohamad was publicly rebuked by Umno leaders yesterday after he criticised Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi for having said 'nothing new' in his opening speech to the party's annual assembly.

Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir came under fire from all quarters, including the Prime Minister and Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

At a press conference, Datuk Seri Abdullah said Datuk Mukhriz had breached the party line.

'He said something which I thought was not right at all,' Datuk Seri Abdullah said. 'It is up to the Youth wing to decide on the matter, but clearly what he said breached the procedures.'

Datuk Mukhriz, an exco member of Umno Youth and the youngest son of Tun Dr Mahathir, remarked on Wednesday that the Prime Minister's speech was 'a little disappointing' as it was no different from the one given last year.


In his opening address, Datuk Seri Abdullah mapped out the economic challenges ahead and elaborated on why Malaysia needed a change in direction.

Datuk Mukhriz not only dismissed the speech, he also made it clear that he shared his father's views about the Prime Minister '100 per cent'.

In response, Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin told reporters yesterday that his patience had reached its limits.

'We have given him a lot of room and space because of his special position being the son of Tun Dr Mahathir. He has made many statements before this.

'I have been very patient with him because I realise that he is caught between his personal loyalty to his father and his position as an exco member. That has changed since yesterday because what he did has crossed the line.

'He made the statement without consulting us,' Datuk Seri Hishammuddin added.


'Since he has gone to the press, there is no reason for me to call him and reprimand him face to face, so I shall reprimand him openly.'

He said that any further action against Datuk Mukhriz would depend on his response.

It is not clear what action can be taken because Datuk Mukhriz is an elected Umno Youth exco. He polled the most votes in the party elections two years ago.

But state Umno Youth chiefs have gone ahead with an unanimous call for an emergency meeting to discuss the matter.

Mr Ashakari Abu Noor, Malacca Umno Youth chief, accused Datuk Mukhriz of having broken ranks.

'We are calling collectively for him to review his post as an exco member,' he said at a press conference attended by all other state Youth chiefs.


Datuk Mukhriz avoided the press yesterday, but on Wednesday he told reporters that his comments were constructive criticism and that he did not think he was out of line.

But that was not how other Umno leaders saw it.

Umno Putera chief Azeez Rahim said yesterday: 'He clapped when listening to Pak Lah's speech but gave a twisted statement when he came out.'

Supreme Council member Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Datuk Mukhriz's comments smacked of hatred and prejudice.

'Hatred has closed his mind,' he noted.

The public dressing-down is the latest chapter in the bitter Mahathir-Abdullah feud which has raged during the past several months, with the former prime minister accusing his chosen successor of ineptitude, nepotism and betrayal of his policies. - By Carolyn Hong
The Straits Times (Singapore)

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