Dr M happy for Umno

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 8 - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is glad to admit he was wrong because he had thought that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would not step down as Umno president and prime minister.

"I am happy for Umno as the party can be rebuilt," he said when reporters met him at the Perdana Leadership Foundation, here.

Asked what he thought Abdullah should do between now and March next year, Dr Mahathir said: "Shut up."

The former prime minister said he was surprised with Abdullah's announcement today that the latter would not defend his Umno presidency and would hand over the country's leadership.

Dr Mahathir who has been vocal in asking Abdullah to step down since the March 8 general election, hoped Abdullah would not put any restriction and obstruction during the transition period.

On whether he would rejoin Umno after March next year, Dr Mahathir said he would do so provided those who left the party together with him were also readmitted.

Asked to comment on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as the possible prime minister, Dr Mahathir said he was not impressed with Najib's performance as deputy prime minister now.

Dr Mahathir described Najib as an incompetent deputy prime minister because the latter did not have his own stand and was always following Abdullah's advice, hence Najib needed to change when taking over the helm later.

On the possible candidate for Najib's deputy, Dr Mahathir said it should be Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, adding that the other current contenders for the post of Umno deputy president were only "jokers".

- Bernama

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