Saturday, April 05, 2008

Nazri: Dr M cause of rift

PARIT BUNTAR: Former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is responsible for causing a rift in the party, supreme council member Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said.

Nazri, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said: ”He is the one doing harm to Umno. If he loves Umno, he should stop all this when, at this time, even opposition parties with different ideologies can work together.”

Nazri said if it had been him or anyone else who did what Dr Mahathir was doing, they would have been sacked from the party a long time ago.

“But I am only an ordinary member, not like him an extraordinary member,” Nazri, who is also Padang Rengas MP, told reporters after presenting aid to 124 storm victims in his constituency here yesterday.

Nazri was commenting on calls by Dr Mahathir for reforms in the party and for Abdullah to step down to assume responsibility for the poor showing of the Barisan Nasional in the general election.

Like Abdullah, he said, Dr Mahathir had also suffered defeats in the 1990 and 1999 elections and yet Umno members had supported him throughout the nine years.

“We never asked him to step down, so we have to be fair to Pak Lah. To me, a leader who absconds in the face of adversity is not responsible and Pak Lah is not like that.

“It is Pak Lah's responsibility to restore and strengthen Umno,” Nazri said.

He also pointed out that Dr Mahathir had been the one to set the rule requiring candidates for top Umno posts to first get at least 30% of nominations – the very rule that he now wanted to abolish.

Nazri also denied that he was quitting his ministerial post.

Dismissing talk that he would resign to take responsibility for his previous hard-hitting remarks which could have cost Umno and Barisan Nasional their support in last month’s general election, Nazri said the losses had nothing to do with anything he had said. - the star online