Monday, August 7, 2006

"I chose to keep silence because I do not want to quarrel with Tun"

Assignment 1: Count the number of times 'silence' and 'don't talk' mentioned. Bolded for your convenience.

Abdullah Keeps Silence To Avoid Discord With Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday night he kept silence from replying to allegations by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on several government decisions because he wanted to avoid misunderstanding with the former prime minister.

Instead, he said, it was better for the issues raised by Dr Mahathir be answered by the relevant ministers as they were more knowledgeable in their respective portfolios.

"I chose to keep silence because I do not want to quarrel with Tun in the newspapers. Tun himself had said in a statement he made, he felt hurt because he did not get the information he wanted. He hopes to be informed. If the PM does not speak, let the ministers speak."

Abdullah said this when interviewed by Bernama Chairman Datuk Mohd Annuar Zaini in the "Bersemuka Bersama Perdana Menteri" programme aired by TV3 tonight.

The prime minister said as the issues raised by Dr Mahathir had something to do with the government, it was appropriate for the relevant ministers to reply to all the questions raised.

"It is the people who want to know what is happening. This is what is being done and it is true the Cabinet ministers prefer if I don't talk," he said.

Abdullah said many supported his decision to keep silence to avoid confusion that might affect relations between him and Dr Mahathir.

"Many people feel if I don't talk is better. Many people told me not to talk, (it will) cause confusion. Don't. Allowing the ministers to answer is enough," he added.