Abdullah: Power handover in due course (Update)

(The Star) – Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has urged the media not to keep asking him to reveal the date he will step down as Prime Minister.

He asked people to be patient as the handing over of power to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would take its course.

“Just wait for that. Don’t ask me to say anything now. All these things will happen. The transition will take its course,” he said when asked if it was true that the handing over will happen right after he meets the King this Thursday to seek his consent to step down.

Abdullah, who launched the Puncak Baru project to re-develop Kampung Baru area Monday, also chided the Opposition for launching personal attacks against Najib during the Bukit Gantang by-election campaign.

He said the Opposition kept attacking Najib on personal issues despite him already replying to the accusations thrown at him.

“They think it’s a good campaign method. Although we do not agree with this, we cannot stop them,” he said and called on all parties not to use dirty campaign tactics.

Abdullah said he personally never subscribed to tuduh-menuduh (throwing accusations). “Tuduh-menuduh will always happen in politics even if we do not like it. This is not the way, the right way is good politics.”

He added that the way for Barisan to win over the voters was to show and prove its determination and sincerity in bringing development for the people.

“The people will see that on one side (the Opposition) are always bad-mouthing and on the other side we are harping on development. The rakyat will then realise and make their choice,” he said.

On Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s statement on the role of the Malays in the process of the country’s Independence that has caused some unhappiness among other races, Abdullah said it was historically true that the Malays, led by Datuk Onn Jaafar, were the first to start the struggle for Independence.

Saying that “history cannot be forgotten and erased”, he said Tunku Abdul Rahman took over Umno’s leadership from Onn and formed the Alliance party with MCA and MIC and independence was gained.

“Nationalism began with the Malays but Tunku Abdul Rahman’s wisdom told him that independence can only be gained when all the races in the country are brought together to fight for it,” he said, adding that those who fought with Tunku Abdul Rahman included people such as Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Sambanthan.

Today, he said, the country continued to be governed by Barisan under the concept of consensus by all the parties. “That’s what it is. Don’t twist it,” he said.

On the Kampung Baru project, Abdullah said that it was understandable that residents of areas that would be developed woudl be concerned of losing out and even of being moved out.

He said the development in Kampung Baru should be done stage-by-stage and not forced upon the people by giving them a deadline. Saying that everyone desired development, he said any move to relocate residents must be done in a good manner.