Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dr Mahathir on loyalty to party and Umno chief

Sunday May 25, 2008

PETALING JAYA: Criticising or pressuring the Umno president to step down does not mean one is disloyal to the party, said former party president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir went on to question the rationale of some claims that those who were not loyal to current president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were not loyal to Umno.

“Is Umno Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and is Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Umno?
“Only those with individualistic interest will spread and support the concept that Umno is Datuk Seri Abdullah and not being loyal to Abdullah meant that members were not being loyal to Umno,” he said in his latest blog posting at on Friday.

Dr Mahathir also cited past incidences where Umno leaders disagreed with the party presidency due to their loyalty to the party.

“Tun Razak and several Umno leaders disagreed with Yang di-Pertua Umno Datuk Onn Jaafar’s suggestion to open to all races which eventually caused Datuk Onn to back down.

“In 1969-1971, they also disagreed with Tunku Abdul Rahman’s leadership in the party and he stepped down. But does this mean that they did not love the party or were disloyal to it?” he asked.

Dr Mahathir also claimed that from 1986-1987, Tun Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Abdullah acted to topple him as Umno president.

“They were clearly not loyal to me but did I accuse them of being disloyal? Were they barred from meeting members? Were they prevented from campaigning to tarnish my name or not to vote for me?

“Did I consider their opposition against me as party disloyalty? Actually Abdullah should not have been accepted into the new Umno after he lost, as he was not loyal to me,” said the former premier.

Abdullah, he added, was not only accepted in but was allowed to contest the supreme council member and later the vice president post.

“If I held on to the definition that anyone who is not loyal to me is not loyal to the party, would I have appointed Abdullah again as Minister and then as deputy prime minister and so forth?” he questioned.