Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dr M issues ‘kick me out’ dare

Dr M issues ‘kick me out’ dare
31 May, 2008

By Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued to challenge Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today, this time daring the government to remove him as advisor to several government bodies.

At a press conference after delivering his keynote address at the "Suntikan Semangat Satria" (Injecting a Knightly Spirit) forum here, organised by the Minda Melayu Kreatif, Kelab Cinta Amanah Melayu and Arena PJS 14, Dr Mahathir said he was ready to quit as advisor to four government organisations.

"They can take away my position as advisor (to Petronas). I'm not dependent on them, not even if they give me RM15,000 a month. I'm not interested. I didn't even ask for it to begin with.

"I'm also advisor to Proton, Langkawi (Development Authority) and Tioman (Island Development Authority). If they say, 'Get out', I'll get out. No problem ... but I'd prefer it if they kicked out me out," he smiled.

Dr Mahathir was also asked to comment on his son Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, who has also quit Umno and was asked to step down as chairman of the Sepang International Circuit by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob, apparently because the position was a government appointment.

Dr Mahathir, however, refused to take the bait and said that it was his son's decision to make.

On whether he thought Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor, who a few days ago had applied to return to Umno, was a "Trojan horse for PKR", the former prime minister smiled broadly and said that “in politics, anything is possible; what I do know is that Anwar is quite anxious to be supported by Umno", referring to the latter's bid to become prime minister by Malaysia Day, which falls on Sept 16.

However, Dr Mahathir refuted claims that Anwar had the numbers to make his dream a reality. "He's got the money, but he's not got the support. Crossovers can be very painful."

The former prime minister once again urged Umno MPs to quit the party en masse and force Abdullah to step down as party president.

In his address at the forum, among other things, Dr Mahathir said Abdullah should be a Malay gentleman and take the cue of former Umno presidents like Datuk Onn Jaafar and Tunku Abdul Rahman who stepped down when they no longer enjoyed the support of members.

Dr Mahathir said an Umno which did not fight for Malay rights was not Umno anymore.

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