Friday, November 03, 2006


The association of former parliamentarians and assemblypersons (Mubarak) is working on setting up a second meeting between former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

According to Mubarak member and former Pendang MP Othman Abdul said this held out hope that they would be able to resolve their differences, as the first attempt on Oct 22 had failed.

He said Mahathir expressed agreement during a meeting with four Mubarak representatives on Monday at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya.

“He agreed because he wants to hand over the transcript of the Oct 22 meeting to Abdullah,” said Othman, one of the four. During the meeting, the group received a copy of the transcript.

The 16-page document covers the18 points that Mahathir raised including the role of Abdullah’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin in the ECM Libra merger with the government-linked Avenue Capital, and coal shipping contracts between Scomi Group (owned by Abdullah’s son Kamaluddin) and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

Othman said Mahathir was also ready to face the Umno supreme council, the party’s highest decision making body, to explain his grievances against the government.

A new formula for the talks is being thrashed out to ensure an end to the public feud between the two leaders. Mubarak will discuss the matter next week, but Othman said it was too early to say where the meeting will take place.

Apart from Othman, the delegation included acting president Abu Zahar Ujang, Zaleha Ismail and Badri Yunus. They were instrumental in setting up the first meeting.

Mahathir publicly attacked Abdullah again after that meeting, before issuing an open letter to Malaysians warning them that a “climate of fear” has engulfed the country due to the government’s clampdown on dissent.

His actions were heavily criticised by Umno leaders, including Abdullah himself, who likened the attack to “doses of venom”.

Kedah Menteri Besar Mahadzir Khalid has since urged Mahathir to resign from his advisory posts in government-linked companies if he persists in criticising Abdullah and the government.

Mahathir is advisor to national oil company Petronas, national car-maker Proton and the Langkawi Development Board.

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