Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"I don't think I can wait too long"

VW chief yet to turn up for Proton partnership talks

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday that he could not be “waiting forever” for the Volkswagen chairman to meet him to discuss the possible partnership with Proton.

He said he was informed that the Volkswagen chairman had wanted to meet him here, so he waited for a while to meet him.

“I have not seen him yet,” he said. “I don’t think I can wait too long.”

The Prime Minister, however, declined to say how long he was willing to wait for the Volkswagen chief. “I will not tell you when, you just wait.”

Abdullah recently said the Government was considering allowing the German carmaker gain a controlling stake in the national carmaker.

A March 31 deadline by the Government to decide on a strategic partner for Proton was not met.

On the proposal to get bloggers in the country to register with the authorities, Abdullah said this needed careful study to ensure such a ruling could be implemented.

He said the registration of bloggers was not a policy at the moment.

Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor recently said in Parliament that bloggers using locally hosted websites might be asked to register as one way to prevent the spread of negative or malicious content on the Internet.

Abdullah also said that he was aware that many people were unhappy with the activities of bloggers who spread “fairy tales”.

On whether there would be a new law to govern bloggers, he said that there were already laws in existence to deal with the spread of false information.

On another matter, Abdullah said the Government was waiting for feedback from Saudi Arabia on the difficulties faced by Malaysians in obtaining visas to perform their umrah.

A daily had reported that the Saudi move to tighten visa requirements had affected more than 1,000 Malaysians.

On the Japan Times report that implicated Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in a scandal allegedly involving RM32mil in kickbacks paid by Japanese shipping companies for timber from Sarawak, Abdullah said he was not aware of such a matter.

Prime minister Pak Lah was pretty upset.

He had to wait for hours in order to meet Volkswagen chairman who had wanted to meet him. The wagen chaorman did not turn up.

The PM was extremely upset and said: "I don't think I can wait too long."

The PM was asked by reporters how long would he wait for Wagen to respond. PM declined to say how long: "I will not tell you when, you just wait."

That means he is willing to wait.