PM refuses to be cowed by ‘shocking’ decision

PM refuses to be cowed by shocking decision

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he will not bow to pressure from former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to resign as prime minister and Umno president.

He said he was shocked and surprised over Dr Mahathirs sudden decision to quit Umno, calling the move a drastic action.

He also said the resignation and call to other members to quit would not shatter the party as Umno had over three million members.

Maybe some will leave but I believe most of them still love Umno. I dont know what Umno members are going to do but I would like to believe that the members will not leave, he said.

He urged Umno members to be taat setia (loyal) to the party and stay strong to continue the partys struggle just like when it was first founded, adding that Umnos existence was due to member loyalty.

I, as an Umno member, from the beginning until now, have never left the party and I will continue to fight for the party.

Umno has contributed much to the country and the people of all races, and we want Umno to continue the struggle, he said after meeting party vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam here yesterday.

Abdullah hoped that Umno members would think carefully before making any decision.

He believed that the majority of party members would stay true to Umno.

Leaving Umno means leaving Barisan Nasional, thats what it is, he said, adding that he also believed that those who were likely to quit would not be among the MPs.

He said this when asked to comment on whether the resignation of Umno MPs would reduce the number of Barisan MPs in Parliament.

Abdullah also said he did not see why he should quit as Umno president and prime minister, as he still had work to do.

On whether he would meet Dr Mahathir personally to advise him against his decision, he said: Dont ask me that question.

He also refused to comment on Dr Mahathirs statement that the latter would only return to the party when Abdullah steps down from his party and government positions.