Pak Lah and Najib in four-hour meeting over 2010 transition planBy WONG SAI WAN
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had a four-eyed meeting with his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for more than four hours to discuss the country’s present political situation, including the Umno transition plan.
It is learnt that Abdullah called Najib for the discussion at 11am and the meeting, held at the Prime Minister’s official residence Seri Perdana, lasted into the afternoon.
In Kuala Terengganu, Abdullah told reporters that no new decision on the power transition was reached during his discussions with Najib.
“For the time being, we have not reached any new resolution, the 2010 transition plan remains as before,’’ he added.
Sources said the Prime Minister wanted to know if Najib was still in support of the plan that the two men had agreed upon in another four-eyed meeting in Shah Alam in July.
His deputy told Abdullah that he was still for the plan provided it had the support of the party’s grassroots members.
Officials for both leaders confirmed that the meeting yesterday but declined to give details.
This was the second time the two men had met in the past 72 hours. They met for about three hours on Saturday, when they also touched on the same subject.
On Friday, Najib said the transition of power in Umno must be decided by delegates at the party’s division meetings, which will convene after Hari Raya Puasa.
In July, Abdullah and Najib agreed to the transition plan for the Prime Minister to hand over power to him in 2010. The plan was endorsed by the party supreme council later.
Najib was commenting on party vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement that Abdullah should rethink the transition plan because many people felt 2010 was too far off.
Najib’s statement was followed by a chorus of party leaders, including Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, all supporting the call for the transition plan to be okayed by the grassroots.
Others who made similar statements were party secretary-general Datuk Tengku Adnan Mansor and Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, who is the president of the association of former Barisan Nasional MPs and assemblymen (Mubarak).
The Prime Minister and his deputy also discussed last week’s ISA arrests and Najib’s inaugural address at the UN General Assembly next week.
There will be two other important meetings this week where the same subjects will be discussed.
The first will be the weekly Cabinet meeting tomorrow followed by the Umno supreme council meeting on Friday.
It is understood that there is a long list of items in the agenda for the supreme council, including the application by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to rejoin the party after quitting two months ago in protest against Abdullah’s leadership.