Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Opposition Envies BN's Success"

Abdullah: Opposition Envies BN's Success

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi speaking at a gathering of “The Leader With The People” in Kuala Kedah. Pix: Josmani Salleh

ALOR STAR, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional (BN) has become the target for slanders by the opposition parties which are envious of its success in administering the country and getting support from the majority of the people, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Prime Minister said that following the increasingly strong support for the BN, those who were envious of the coalition had made up all kind of stories so that supporters of its component parties would quarrel among themselves.

"They (opposition) make up various stories so that we are suspicious of each other which leads to chaos, quarrels and eventually we become weak," he said when speaking at a gathering of `The Leader With The People' in Kuala Kedah, here today.

He said they spread lies saying that the Malays and the Chinese were not supporting each other and made use of the illegal group Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) to ask Malaysians not to support the BN and MIC.

"The opposition parties hope that by making up these stories they can influence the people to support them when the BN is divided," Abdullah said.

Abdullah said the opposition had been making wild allegations all this while using various ways but the people still supported the BN.

"The opposition must realise why. They know, but pretend not to know although the BN had led Malaysia to become the most developed country among the developing nations in the world," he said.

Abdullah said the people realised that it was only through the BN that the political parties and minority groups in this country could work together.

"Who dares to say that his race is not developed or that they are always at the losing end ever since the BN ruled the country more than 50 years," said the Prime Minister.

"Praise be to God that we have achieved success (in many areas). So who dares to say that his community's wealth and assets have not increased over the years "But success does not come easy while the country will never be peaceful if its people are plagued by suffering and hardship.

"I have never said that we have done everything and that everything is perfect, but the situation in Malaysia has improved and the BN government will continue to implement welfare programmes."

Abdullah said if the poverty level had been 10 percent previously, it had now gone down to 5.7 percent.

"We cannot deny that this is another success. If there are no more hardcore poor people and everything is alright, then we don't need the programme to eradicate poverty by 2010."

He stressed that the poverty-eradication programme covered all races in both rural and urban areas.

The government would continue with this programme for as long as there were poor people because human beings could turn agnostic due to abject poverty, he said.


What success? Something like these, depicted in the poster by Mob1900?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Abdullah works till late to finalise candidates list

Awww....poor thing, he loses his precious sleep time....zzzzz.z..z....z....

Abdullah works till late to finalise candidates list

PUTRAJAYA: It has been late nights for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi this past week, finalising the general election candidates’ list.

His bedtime has been past 1am daily and until yesterday evening, the full list could not be finalised, he said.

“We (including Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) have a lot of work to do to choose the best candidates to contest in the general election.

It’s an honour: Abdullah shaking hands with members of the Malay Chamber of Commerce in Putrajaya Thursday as the chamber’s president Syed Ali Alattas (right) introduces them.
“I have to meet Mentris Besar and component party leaders to finalise the parliamentary and state seats everyday,” he said, adding that the process was taking a long time as there were many factors to be considered before making a final decision.

Abdullah was addressing hundreds of members of the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia at a special function to declare their support for him, at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here yesterday.

He said he told Najib he had to take some time off to attend the event and would continue with the meetings with Mentris Besar after the event.

Abdullah also said that after asking elected representatives to submit report cards on their performance, it was his turn to provide a progress report on his performance during his tenure as Prime Minister.

“MPs and those in the administration have given me their reports cards for me to gauge their performance.

“I, as the Prime Minister, will also give a progress report of the nation since 2004,” he said.

He, however, did not state when he would make his progress report public.

Expressing his delight over seeing so many Malay entrepreneurs and industrialists in Malaysia compared to many years back, Abdullah hoped there would be more entrepreneurs.

He also advised the entrepreneurs to create more job opportunities for others irrespective of race and religion.

Abdullah added that the country also needed more academicians to build the country as well as educate the younger generation.

Repeating some of the achievements of the country, Abdullah said the Gross Domestic Product had increased by 18% from RM427bil in 2004 to RM504bil last year.

“We also received a record 21 million tourists last year in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year while international trade increased by 26% from RM881bil in 2004 to RM1.113 trillion last year.

Abdullah Gives Report Card On Progress Made From 2004 To 2007

Abdullah Gives Report Card On Progress Made From 2004 To 2007

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 22 (Bernama) -- With the elected representatives having given their report cards to the Prime Minister, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Thursday that it was now his turn to give a report card to citizens on the progress made by the country from 2004 to 2007.

"Parliament members have to give me report cards on their performance. I as the Prime Minister of a government given the mandate by the people, am also responsible to give a report card on the progress achieved by the nation from 2004 to 2007," he said.

He said this at the Solidarity Assembly with members of the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM) held at the Putrajaya Convention Centre here.

Abdullah said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 18 per cent from RM427 billion in 2004 to RM504 billion last year.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) is going to the polls on March 8 to get a new mandate from the people after having been voted in by a landslide victory in the 2004 election.

Abdullah said the GPP increase involved all sectors, including modern agriculture, biotechnology and Islamic banking.

The nation recorded 21 million tourist arrivals last year in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year programme, he said.

International trade, he said, increased by 26 per cent from RM881 billion in 2004 to RM1.113 trillion last year.

Mean household income also increased from RM3,249 to RM3,617 during the period, he added.

The Prime Minister said the government also spent RM43.4 billion in subsidising essential goods so that their prices remained at an affordable range for the people.

He said the transformation programme undertaken for government-linked-companies (GLCs) had also succeeded in increasing their profitability with shareholders getting better returns on their investments in them.

Over 204,000 small-and-medium enterprises were also created since 2005 involving the giving out loans totalling RM107 billion, he said.

Bursa Malaysia's Composite Index, he said, reached an all time high after it increased by 161 per cent with market capitalisation rising from RM460 billion in 2003 to RM1.2 trillion last year.

Abdullah said the country's fiscal deficit was reduced from five per cent of the GDP in 2003 to 3.2 per cent of the GDP last year.

"Malaysia's foreign reserves also increased by 120 per cent from USD40 billion to USD101 billion," he said.

He said recognition of Malaysia in the global competitiveness index also improved from 25th position to 21st place.

Other examples, he said, would be spelt out one by one later so that the people were aware of the successes made by the government.

All these successes served to add value to those that had been achieved earlier, he said.

"Of the successes that we have inherited all this while, we add value to them. We add value to our services, products and to ourselves. This is everybody's role," he said.

In the government's effort to give rise to more bumiputera entrepreneurs and industrialists, Abdullah gave the commitment to implement programmes for the purpose more vigorously, not only to increase the numbers but also ensure quality.

He said that there had been a notable increase of their numbers now compared to before.

"During the time of Merdeka (Independence), in Kepala Batas there were only two Bumiputera businessmen. One opened a restaurant and the other a grocery store," he said.

Abdullah said it was not necessary to ask that Bumiputeras be helped in the direction (become entrepreneurs)as it was the government's responsibility to do so.

"No obstacle is insurmountable. Opportunities that come, we must grab them to get ahead," he added.


Monday, February 18, 2008

"First Class Grapes and First Class Apples"

From Doc Mave:

Of Sour Grapes and Green Apples

Malaysian Prime Minister said yesterday that it is not fair to compare Malaysia with Singapore.


"It is like comparing "First-class Grapes" with "First-class Apple".

"We are a population of over 20 million and we rank 8th in the world in terms of our competitiveness."

"I am not telling you lies. This statistic is from an international survey."

"Everywhere I go, the business community tells me that Malaysia is doing very well. These people are smart. You cannot fool them because they are well-read."

"Please trust us - we are your government."

""Nobody is happy to see prices rising but this is out of our control."

"The private sector is dominated by the Chinese and I want to say a big 'thank you' to the community for creating so many job opportunities." [unquote]

Grapes and Apple? We are grapes, they are apple?

I think it's more of Rats and Lions.

This is the year of the Rat; so using the analogy of Rat is more appropriate.

I always thought a bigger population will create a greater mass and greater domestic consumption which can fuel the economy. This is why the USA economy had thrived; largely on greater domestic consumption. But America's economy thrived on innovation and creativity, and attracting foreign investments to the tune of trillions of dollars, due to the laissez-faire doctrine. Malaysia thrived on Crony-Capitalism and Kautimism. Singapore had no natural resources except human capitals, and they thrived on trade and financial services. Most of all, Singapore invested their national funds in the global economy, buying good companies and generating billions of profit from these investments. This, we had failed, and failed miserably.

Grapes? Ya, sour grapes! The apple remains green...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"I am a Malay but I am a prime minister of all races

Oi, udahlah. Dah cukup dah! Meluak aku dengar dia cakap ulang-ulang kali ni. Kepada cik adik dan mat siber yang tengah baca ni, kalo hang masih tak muntah lepas baca blog ni (aku pun dah mula muntah dah dengan panji-panji semua ni), pi hantuk kepala ko dengan tukul.

Abdullah: It is my duty to be honest and fair to everyone

PENANG: I am a Malay but I am a prime minister of all races – that was Prime Minster Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's message to the people.

Speaking at a dialogue session with the Chinese community at the Penang Chinese Town Hall (PCTH) yesterday, the premier said as a Muslim, it was his duty to be “honest and fair” to everyone regardless of their race or religion.

“The Quran tells us to always have integrity and this is something I will never forget. As a Muslim, I will one day meet my Maker and He (Allah) will ask me what I have done as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

“I cannot lie because God is all-knowing,” he said, adding that he had friends from all communities.

“Until today, my Indian and Chinese school friends are very close to me and we have never had an argument. Similarly, in the Government, I am friends with leader representatives from various communities because we are satu hati (united) and have a common mind and objective.

Festive greetings: (From left) Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Penang Chinese Town Hall chairman Tan Sri Lim Gait Tong, Abdullah and Dr Koh wishing Happy New Year to participants of the dialogue session with the Chinese community at the Penang Chinese Town Hall yesterday.
“Let me tell you honestly, Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon Tsu Koon is my good friend. And when (Datuk Seri) Ong Ka Ting, (Datuk Seri Dr) Lim Keng Yaik or Tsu Koon ask me for help, I never say no.

“When Ka Ting asked me to solve issues relating to Chinese schools, I immediately picked up the phone and asked (Datuk Seri) Hishammuddin to look into the problem. We want all our children to have access to good quality education, to become good friends and good Malaysians,” he said.

The Barisan chairman noted that it was not enough for the children to be pandai (smart) as they also needed to have good hearts.

“Today we have 100% literacy in the country and it is time to focus on developing human values. We must add value and quality to the success we have achieved in the last 50 years otherwise we cannot progress. That is what I want for the future,” he said, adding that since he became Prime Minister in 2003, the country has been peaceful.

“Of course there are minor misunderstandings. Sedangkan lidah lagi tergigit, what more when we are a multi-racial society.

“What is important is that we are willing to talk and solve our problems together,” he added.

In his speech, Dr Koh said the Barisan Nasional realises that it was a government elected “by and for people.”

“We take into account all the various views and wishes when formulating policies.”

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"I will continue to fulfil promises"

OMG! Is he really serious?

I will continue to fulfil promises, says Abdullah

SUNGAI PETANI: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has assured the people that he will continue to attend to their needs and provide the best for them.

“I will continue to fulfil what I have promised to do for the people,” he said.

He said the Government was prepared to listen to the people, as “we are not 100% perfect.”

“We will correct our weaknesses. What I want is for the people to work together with me and be with me.

“I will work together with them. This comes from my heart,” he said when speaking at a meet-the-people session at the Taman Ria Jaya field here yesterday.

He said the Government had always showed concern for the people’s welfare by providing subsidies for housing, education, health care, transportation and basic amenities.

“The comforts and good life that all of us enjoy today did not just come from nowhere.

“It was the efforts of a concerned government that made things possible. We have to be thankful for that,” he said.

He said 85% of the Government’s expenses went towards providing various subsidies.

“This is because we do not want people to suffer but continue to enjoy the good things in life,” he said.

On complaints about the hike in prices of consumer goods and fuel, he said the people were not aware that the Government had actually absorbed much of the cost.

“Where in the world can you find a government which increased the allowance of pensioners when civil servants enjoyed a pay hike.

“It is only in Malaysia that all these perks are available. It is because of the collective work that all of us have done so far, that we continue to enjoy progress,” he said.

Earlier, he met Kedah Barisan Nasional leaders in a closed-door meeting here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

“Nothing to do with that. We have forgotten about Anwar. I don't remember about Anwar”

Abdullah's secret
Husna Yusop

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 14, 2008): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has refused to be drawn into speculations on who will get into the list of candidates for the March 8 general elections, including on the fate of ministers and party component leaders.

"I have yet to get the list from the state liaison chiefs and party heads. Therefore, I cannot say how many of them will be retained and how many new faces will be nominated.

“It is important to make sure the candidates are credible and have the support of all parties. Umno, being the largest component party in Barisan Nasional (BN), will always show its commitment to BN’s struggle, consensus and cooperation.

“This is very important because it is the party which is facing the election,” he said, adding he will meet BN state liaison heads to discuss the list of candidates in the next few days.

Speaking to reporters after chairing an Umno supreme council meeting in the party headquarters today, Abdullah said he will consider the candidates based on merits and upon recommendations of the party heads and liaison chiefs.

On whether he will re-consider if a minister does not get nominated, such as in the case of Perlis, he said: “I will not comment until I have seen the list.”

Asked whether MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu will be contesting or would follow the footstep of former Gerakan president Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik who bade farewell to his cabinet colleagues on Wednesday, Abdullah said: “I have not decided yet. When the list comes, maybe he will not put his name in the list, we never know.”

To talks that he was considering not having Samy Vellu in the list, he repeated: "I have not seen the list, I will not comment."

He said as far as BN is concerned, party chiefs would normally contest in the elections but, “if they don’t recommend their names, we cannot force them to do so.”

“Let me have a look (at the list) first. Stop asking me about if's because I have not seen the list yet,” he said, adding Samy Vellu or anyone else can say anything they want to the press but they might change their mind later.

When asked to comment on the longer period of campaigning, Abdullah simply retorted: “Don’t you (reporters) like it? The newspapers will get lots of news.”

Asked whether the early election date was to prevent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from contesting, Abdullah said: “Nothing to do with that. We have forgotten about Anwar. I don't remember about Anwar.”

He added that the election date was not his say but that of the Election Commission.

"BN see elections in a bigger picture, a big challenge. We will not take anything lightly. We take everything seriously, big or small.”

Asked to comment on PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s readiness to contest against him in Kepala Batas, Abdullah said it showed that Abdul Hadi was not confident of winning in Terengganu.

He said based on feedback, there was hope that BN could topple PAS in Kelantan.

On seat-swapping, he said so far, he has not received any but if it is done based on mutual consent between two parties, it would not be a problem.

Asked whether he is meeting the Johor Sultan to discuss the elections as reported recently, he said he plans to pay him a visit because he has been ill for quite some time.

Updated: 06:52PM Thu, 14 Feb 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"I believe with the strong mandate..."

Parliament dissolved for 12th General Election
Husna Yusop, Giam Say Khoon, Pauline Puah, Llew-Ann Phang, Regina William, Jonathan Chen and T.K.Letchumy Tamboo and Tan Yi Liang

PUTRAJAYA (Feb 13, 2008): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is confident the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition that he leads will be returned again in the coming 12th general election with its two-thirds majority intact simply because it has fulfilled its promises to the people.

He believes the people will again give the BN a strong mandate to rule the country as they are confident it would be able to continue with its effort to develop the country and lead the nation towards greater prosperity.

"We hope to get a big support, at least two-thirds majority," he said in a special press conference to announce the dissolution of the 11th parliament which is due to expire only May next year.

In the last general election in 2004, the BN secured its biggest ever electoral victory, sweeping 90% of the 219 seats in the Dewan Rakyat and controlling all the state asssemblies, except that of Kelantan which it failed to capture by a mere whisker.

Asked whether the BN could repeat its 2004 performance, he said: “I am not sure about that. I think 2004 was a special record. But we hope to get a big support as the voters know that the BN has a good track record.”

He said BN had fulfilled its promises to the people and carried out many programmes and it will continue to ensure the programmes will eventually produce the desired results, benefit the people and contribute towards the country’s development.

“ We have succeeded in developing the country by upgrading it from one level to another. And we hope to be able to give a good service and value add to our success thus far.

“We have the experiences and capabilities. And we can carry out all the development plans,” he said.

Abdullah said the elections machinery has been arranged and will be mobilised accordingly.

He also advised all state governments, except Sarawak, to dissolve their state assemblies to enable the state elections to be held simultaneously.

“I have had an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin this morning and received his consent to dissolve Parliament,” he said, adding the Parliament and Election Commission (EC) have been informed.

He said the EC will decide on the nomination and polling dates.

The EC will meet tomorrow morning and is expected to determine the nomination and election dates.

Yesterday, Abdullah had denied that the parliament will be dissolved today, prompting reporters to ask why he decided to change his mind suddenly.

To this, he said: “I cannot give any clues on the date of the dissolution because His Majesty has not decided. How can I make a statement or give any clues beforehand? That is not possible. The Agong must know first and make a decision.”

Asked whether the BN list of candidates is ready, he said: "No. Once it is ready, I will make public the number of new faces or incumbents who will be vying for the parliamentary and state seats."

While refusing to comment on the “13” date, he brushed off a suggestion that he was trying to project a certain image as the announcement was made during the Chinese New Year 15-day celebration.

“No. It will not affect any activities or celebrations of the Chinese,” he said.

On why the election is held 15 months before the current mandate ends, Abdullah said there is nothing wrong with having it now.

“I think it is good to have it now. It is not a problem. I believe with the strong mandate, we will be able to continue with our efforts to develop the country and give abundance to the people.”

On his hope for the voters, he said: “I hope they will understand the issues related to our country and make an objective evaluation. And when the time comes, cast your vote.”

He also expressed hope that the election process, especially the nomination and polling days, will take place smoothly.

"Hopefully, there would not be any disturbances or difficulties faced by the people that would hinder them from coming out and exercise their rights to vote for the candidates of their choice,” he added.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"I don't have any "anak angkat"

February 10, 2008 18:05 PM

I Don't Have Any Adopted Child, Says Abdullah

BUTTERWORTH, Feb 10 (Bernama) -- "I don't have any "anak angkat" (adopted child) and I've never asked anyone to do anything about election candidates," Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Sunday.

Asked on reports about certain people claiming that they have been made "anak angkat" by the prime minister and have been given the "blessing" to pick potential candidates for the upcoming general election, Abdullah said candidly, "Who's my anak angkat?"

He was speaking at a news conference after meeting Penang Umno divisional youth chiefs and chairing Kepala Batas Umno division meeting.

Abdullah, who is Umno president, said he had never asked anyone to determine the candidates' lists for the election.

He said the list would be forwarded to him only by the respective state Umno liaison committees.

"Don't believe them. I've not asked anyone to do anything (about election candidates). When the time comes, I will receive the candidates' lists from the state Umno," he added.

On Friday, Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib revealed that certain people have been going around claiming that they were the prime minister's "adopted son" and had the powers to determine candidates' line-up.


"Since nobody wants No. 13, I take it...I want to take No. 8, everybody has taken it. So I take No. 13"

February 10, 2008 16:28 PM

Service Record Main Criteria For Candidacy, Says Abdullah

BUTTERWORTH, Feb 10 (Bernama) -- Barisan Nasional (BN) elected representatives' service record to the people since the last general election will be the basis for selection of candidates.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he had received their performance report cards and would study them before deciding on the candidates to be fielded in the upcoming 12th general election.

"The report cards have been sent for my perusal and I will see what they (assemblymen and members of parliament) have done," he told reporters after meeting Penang Umno divisional youth leaders and chairing Kepala Batas Umno division meeting.

To a question on when Parliament would be dissolved, the Umno president and BN chairman, said: "Don't worry. When I decide to dissolve Parliament, I'll call for a press conference to announce the dissolution. Just wait."

On speculation that Parliament would be dissolved on Wednesday (Feb 13), Abdullah said in jest: " all like 13, Why?"

Asked whether No. 13 was his favourite number, the Prime Minister said: "Yes, I like that number because nobody wants it because of superstitution. Usually, people rush to get No. 8.

"Since nobody wants No. 13, I take it...I want to take No. 8, everybody has taken it. So I take No. 13," he said.

Neither denying nor confirming No. 13 with the dissolution of Parliament, Abdullah said: "Up to you...if you want to link No. 13, you can link."

On the series of Umno meetings he had chaired since coming to Penang on Friday, the Prime Minister said he had asked party leaders at the meetings to be ready for the general election.

"Very high mood here in Penang, I'm happy, I must continue to work hard," he said.

Abdullah said the Penang BN had not submitted its candidates' line-up for the general election.

"Penang has not sent, even from other states have not come, they're preparing the list," he added.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

"Now, the farmers don't need to worry... 15 years, plus another 15 years, to plant vegetables, everybody is happy"

Don't you just love it when it's the festive season, or rather, it's the Elections season? The PM's at home, elegantly more talkative and most importantly, more darnder quotes! Here's another one for February 9.

February 09, 2008 19:18 PM

BN Govt Can Easily Solve Problems Of Any Race, Says Abdullah

BIDOR, Feb 9 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional (BN) government can easily solve problems of the multiracial populace of the country as the BN is a party for all races, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.

He said the government governing the nation was a multiracial coalition government that constantly worked to maintain racial harmony, peace, prosperity and safety of the people.

"The BN government functions on the basis of consultation and consensus. This is a multiracial, united and collaborative coalition government," he said when addressing a farmers' gathering at Kampung Baru Coldstream, near here.

Abdullah said the Cabinet comprising ministers representing diverse races discussed together problems that surfaced and planned ahead to transform Malaysia into a peaceful and prosperous nation.

Abdullah, who is also BN chairman, said the BN government understood the aspirations of the various races who wanted to live in a peaceful and safe country.

At the event, the Prime Minister handed offer letters for a 15-year land lease to 211 farmers from Kampung Baru Coldstream in place of the yearly renewal of land lease under the temporary occupation licence (TOL).

They are among 931 Chinese farmers who were planting vegetables and fruits illegally on government land or under TOL in six areas in Perak.

Abdullah said the farmers who received the land lease were a happy lot now that the problem they faced over the status of their farming land was now over.

"This is an example of how the state and federal governments settle the people's problems. With the cooperation of BN component party leaders, the Menteri Besar (Datuk Seri Mohamed Tajol Rosli Ghazali), (MCA president) Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and (Datuk) Ong Ka Chuan (MCA secretary-general) this problem has been solved amicably," he said.

The Prime Minister said farmers in Ulu Yam, Selangor, also faced similar problem before but was settled smoothly with the cooperation of BN leaders.

Abdullah said the agriculture sector would continue to receive incentives and support from the government as it was a crucial sector producing food items for the people," he said.

"Now, the farmers don't need to worry... 15 years, plus another 15 years, to plant vegetables, everybody is happy," added the Prime Minister to the applause of the audience.

Earlier, Tajol Rosli, in his speech, said each of the farmers was offered about three hectares of land for a 15-year lease with an option to be renewed for another 15 years or 20 years plus another 20 years.

Bidor, Chemor, Jelapang and Ipoh are the main vegetable-growing areas in Perak.

A total of 1,379 lots, covering more than 2,000 hectares, have been allotted to the farmers.

Earlier, Abdullah visited the vegetable farms and fruit orchards at Kampung Baru Coldstream.


Friday, February 8, 2008

“A rumour is a rumour. Anytime can be appropriate when I decide”

PM refuses to speculate on Khairy’s candidacy

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister has refused to be drawn into speculations about candidates for the coming general election.

“I will not comment on candidacy for anyone at this time,” said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Abdullah said this after being asked to comment on reports that his son-in-law and Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin would be contesting the Rembau parliamentary seat.

On Wednesday, Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan stated that Khairy was among the five names nominated for the seat, currently held by Datuk Firdaus Muhammad Rom Harun.

Abdullah also refused to verify rumours that Parliament would be dissolved during the 15-day Chinese New Year celebrations or that it would be held during the March school holidays.

“A rumour is a rumour. Anytime can be appropriate when I decide,” he said after attending the Gerakan Chinese New Year open house yesterday.

When asked to comment on claims by certain quarters that some Barisan Nasional politicians were using the Chinese New Year celebrations as a means to boost the election campaign, Abdullah had this to say:

“Have I been talking about the election? You (reporters) asked me. If you did not ask, I won’t reply to those questions.”

“Please listen to their woes and correct our mistakes"

Hear out the people and correct mistakes, PM tells leader

PENANG: Listen to the people, correct your mistakes and overcome your weaknesses, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has told Barisan Nasional leaders.

The Prime Minister said if this was done, the people would continue to support the ruling government and give the mandate to the coalition to continue to lead the country.

“Please listen to their woes and correct our mistakes. If we succeed in doing so, they (the people) will support us,” he said when addressing a 4,000-odd crowd at the Gerakan-MCA joint Chinese New Year open house at the Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa) here yesterday.

Abdullah also said that Barisan component parties should be truly united if the coalition was to remain in power.

He said he had studied many “reports” submitted to him and one of the most important things the people wanted was unity in the coalition.

“They don’t want the component parties to quarrel with one another,” he said.

Abdullah said Barisan component parties worked together closely in making policy decisions at the Cabinet-level.

“We face many problems but we resolve it one by one. If it is not resolved, we don’t decide to forget it. The matter is discussed at the next meeting,” he said.

Abdullah said he had faith in the “goodness” of the people that they would back Barisan in the coming general election although they frequently made “noises”.

On Barisan’s strength, Abdullah said Umno could not succeed on its own, as it has to take care of the aspirations of non-Malays.

Likewise, he said other components parties such as the MCA, Gerakan and MIC could also not succeed on their own.

“That’s why we must work together so that we can overcome our weaknesses. It is easy to break a single bamboo but difficult to break a cluster of bamboos,” he said.

On Penang, Abdullah said he was determined that Penang's second bridge, the Penang Outer Ring Road and monorail project be completed on schedule.

He, however, apologised for the delay in the implementation of some of the projects.

"Don't Say That I Don't Work Hard"

The Star, Friday February 8, 2008
MYT 4:39:44 PM

PM: I work hard to fulfil duties

PENANG: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Malaysians were aware that he works hard to fulfil his responsibilities for them.

"Some of you can say that I'm not good, you can say whatever. "But don't say that I don't work."

"I work very hard. I really mean it and you know it,'' he said to thundering applause from hundreds guests who attended the Chinese New Year open house at the Penang Chinese Town Hall here.

Abdullah said as a Muslim, he had an obligation to fulfil his responsibility.

"I have a very heavy responsibility and I have to carry it out,'' he said.

He also urged Malaysians to make full use of the opportunities available to do well in life and to serve the people.

"It is God's will that I become the Prime Minister of Malaysia and I am very conscious that I have to serve the people although I personally do not benefit even one sen because of this,'' he said.

He said in fulfilling his responsibility, he has to be fair to all Malaysians, irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds.

"However, each of us has to strive towards the creation of a Malaysian community that is happy, prosperous, united, harmonious and respected.

"As Malaysians, no matter where we are and even though we are just a minority group, attending a function, we should feel comfortable and happy when attending a function.

"We should feel at home and that we are in the company of friends and fellow Malaysians,'' he said.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon in his speech said a lot of renewals and changes were being initiated under Abdullah's leadership especially in areas such as economy, security and government delivery system.

"These renewals and changes will however, take some time and require the support and co-operation of all Malaysians,'' he said.

I work very hard.
I really mean it
and you know it
PM at the Chinese New Year open house at the Penang Chinese Town Hall here as reported by the Star

Sunday, February 3, 2008

"This is extremely biadap"

Biadap? What so biadap?

This is extremely biadap, PM Pak Lah said in reference to the picture carried by the NST yesterday which shows 5 members of Bersih tearing up the picture of Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, the Election Commission chairman.

Is tearing a newspaper an act of biadap? What is so insulting?

I use to see people using newspaper to clean their backside. I do tear newspaper. People do use newspaper to do all kinds of things.

I often saw that guy who shouted "Surat Khabar Lama" carrying newspaper with pictures of our prime minister, deputy PM, international leaders, and all others, and put it inside the truck like garbage.

Is corruption not biadap? Is buying or "given" a Cobra Yacht not biadap? Is buying an A319 Airbus using public's money for personal use not biadap? What about the failure to uphold a Gentleman Agreement? What about the affirmation that "my son did not get any projects from the government"? What about Kubang Pasu divisional election vote-buying as claim by Mahathir? What about Perth trip? What about ECM-Libra scandal? So what's biadap?

Isn't it insulting to take away our freedom of expression and freedom to voice dissent? Isn't it far more insolent of the newspapers who often lied and plagiarized other's and treat the citizens as fools?

Friday, February 1, 2008

"There was no gentleman’s agreement between me and Mahathir"

PM: There was no gentleman’s agreement between me and Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said there was no gentleman’s agreement between him and his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that he (Abdullah) be prime minister only for a term.

“No such thing,” the Prime Minister told reporters yesterday after he launched Pavilion, the latest upmarket shopping mall here.

Asked why he thought Dr Mahathir felt that there was such an agreement, he said, “Each person has his own views.”

When reporters pressed him further on the so-called gentleman’s agreement, Abdullah brushed it aside saying, “Why are you so interested in this? There was nothing.”

New city landmark: Abdullah beating a drum as a conductor directs other drummers at the entrance of the Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Behind Abdullah and Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah are Tan Sri Zainol Mahmood, chairman of Urusharta Cemerlang Sdn Bhd which owns Pavilion, and Datin Cindy Lim, executive director of Malton Bhd, the developer.
Three days ago, the former prime minister had claimed that he had a gentleman’s agreement when he handed over power to Abdullah in 2003, that the latter would stay on for one term only and subsequently pass over the mantle to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

On the general election, Abdullah indicated that it was close.

Asked whether he had received inspiration to call for the election, he replied, “I am about to.”

He said he would pick competent people, who wanted to serve the rakyat, as candidates. On Dr Mahathir’s call that Barisan Nasional field only clean candidates, Abdullah said this was his plan all along.

“We, too, want only clean candidates,” he added.

On Dr Mahathir’s hope that people should use their power as voters to change Barisan and Umno, Abdullah said it was always up to the rakyat to decide what they wanted.

Asked whether the crackdown on the Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) would have an impact on the elections, Abdullah said, “there might be a little bit but nothing more than that.”

Reports have suggested that Indians voters were angry with the Government over its action on Hindraf and might not back the ruling coalition overwhelmingly as was the practice in the past.

On a different matter, Abdullah said his meeting yesterday with MCA Youth, which lasted more than an hour, was productive.

“We had a lively discussion on many issues that reflect their concern,” he added.

In Putrajaya, Najib reiterated his support and loyalty for Abdullah, MAZWIN NIK ANIS reports.

“I am committed to support the Prime Minister and to be loyal to him.

“At the same time, my focus is on the general election to ensure that Barisan Nasional wins big,” he told reporters after opening a seminar for Felda mosque officials yesterday.

Asked if he was aware of any gentleman's agreement made when Dr Mahathir stepped down, Najib said, “I don’t know about the agreement. You have to ask the parties concerned.”