Peralihan kuasa beri peluang kepada Najib buat persediaan
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi menamatkan spekulasi berhubung proses peralihan kuasa dalam kepimpinan parti dan kerajaan apabila mengumumkan akan melepaskan jawatannya pada pertengahan 2010 dengan menamakan Datuk Seri Najib Razak sebagai penggantinya.
Sehingga tempoh itu, Perdana Menteri dan Najib masing-masing akan mempertahankan jawatan Presiden dan Timbalan Presiden Umno pada pemilihan parti, Disember ini.
Mengumumkan keputusan itu selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi (MT) Umno dan taklimat khas bersama Presiden Umno di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC) di sini semalam, Abdullah berkata: “Saya memaklumkan kepada MT bahawa saya sudah mencapai kata sepakat dengan Najib bahawa saya tidak akan memimpin Umno dan Barisan Nasional (BN) pada pilihan raya umum akan datang.
“Bermakna satu peralihan kuasa perlu diwujudkan dan ia bermula dengan apa yang diumumkan hari ini iaitu saya bercadang menyerahkan jawatan kepada Najib untuk ambil alih jawatan parti pada Jun atau pertengahan 2010.”
Abdullah berkata, keputusan itu juga dimaklumkan kepada ketua bahagian yang menghadiri taklimat khas selepas mesyuarat MT dan mendapat maklum balas positif apabila beliau menerima ‘standing ovation’ yang disifatkannya sebagai merestui proses peralihan kuasa itu. Perdana Menteri berkata, keputusannya itu dibuat bagi mengukuhkan parti dan memastikan semua program yang dirancang dan dijanjikan kepada rakyat pada pilihan raya umum lalu dapat dilaksanakan dengan baik.
“Saya juga sudah nyatakan kepada Najib bahawa saya inginkan beliau terus menjadi timbalan saya sehingga tarikh saya menyerahkan jawatan kepadanya,” katanya.
Isu berhubung peralihan kuasa itu mula dibangkitkan pelbagai pihak selepas BN gagal memperoleh kemenangan majoriti dua pertiga pada Pilihan Raya Umum, Mac lalu. Sejak itu, Abdullah didesak melaksanakan pelan peralihan kuasa kepada Najib berdasarkan amalan biasa Umno.
Perdana Menteri menjelaskan, tarikh pertengahan 2010 dipilih untuk memberi beliau dan Najib peluang menempuh proses pemilihan parti, selain membolehkan penggantinya membuat persediaan menghadapi pilihan raya umum ke-13.
“Adalah penting untuk membuat pengumuman sekarang kerana proses peralihan kuasa perlu mengambil masa dan ia dapat memberi peluang kepada Najib menghadiri forum dan mesyuarat yang lazimnya saya hadiri bagi mewakili kerajaan dan membolehkan Najib berinteraksi dengan pemimpin negara lain. Beliau juga akan berkesempatan menjalankan tugas saya dari semasa ke semasa,” katanya.
Ditanya apakah proses peralihan kuasa akan berlaku sepenuhnya, Abdullah berkata: “Anda tunggu hingga tiba masanya, apabila ia berlaku, anda akan tahu.” Mengenai peranannya selepas 2010, Abdullah berkata, penggantinya akan diberi kuasa sepenuhnya untuk mentadbir kerajaan dengan caranya sendiri.
“Terpulang kepada kebijaksanaan Najib memimpin kerajaan. Saya tidak akan tukar pandangan kerana keputusan sudah dibuat.
Nampaknya ia akan menjadi peralihan kuasa yang cantik,” katanya menjawab soalan jika wujud desakan supaya beliau melepaskan jawatan sebelum 2010.
Ditanya sama ada beliau sedih dengan keputusan yang dibuat itu, Abdullah berkata: “Tentu sekali, tetapi saya lebih rasakan yang saya sudah mengambil satu tindakan yang diterima baik dan itu yang dikehendaki.
“Saya berpendapat, peralihan kuasa mesti dilaksanakan dalam proses baik dan disenangi parti. Dengan cara ini pihak yang akan mengganti saya akan menjadi pemimpin kepada parti, bukan kepada setengah parti atau geng dia saja.”
Perdana Menteri berkata, jika pertarungan atau pertandingan dibiarkan berlaku dalam proses memilih pemimpin, beliau bimbang akan berlaku perpecahan dalam parti yang tentu akan merunsingkan ahli Umno sendiri.
“Peralihan kuasa adalah pendekatan paling baik, parti tidak berkocak, semua berjalan baik, kepemimpinan terus berjalan dan parti tidak perlu dibaiki lagi. Itu yang saya rasa. Apa yang saya lakukan, saya bersyukur dan saya juga rasa bersyukur kerana dapat memilih seorang yang dapat memimpin parti dengan baik,” katanya.
Ditanya apakah tindakan ini terlalu awal dan dibuat kerana tekanan, Abdullah berkata: “Tindakan ini wajar, sebelum ini pun ada tekanan dan ada pelbagai pandangan mengenainya tetapi yang penting perasaan saya dalam hal ini dan saya rasa saya mesti serah jawatan kepada pengganti saya dan ini cara yang saya pilih.
” Mengenai pembangkang yang mungkin menganggap pengundurannya itu satu kemenangan pada mereka, Perdana Menteri berkata, beliau akan berhadapan dengan pembangkang dan memastikan semua yang dirancang berjalan lancar.
Beliau juga menyerahkan kepada Ketua Umno bahagian Gua Musang, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah untuk membuat keputusan sama ada akan bertanding jawatan tertinggi parti, akhir tahun ini.
Abdullah says will hand over post of Umno president and BN chairman to his deputy two years from now
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday announced that he would hand over the post of Umno president and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak by middle of 2010.
He said the process of transferring the power had begun and that with the decision, he would not be leading the BN in the next general election expected to be held sometime in 2012 or 2013.
“I took the opportunity to inform the Supreme Council at the meeting just now that I have reached an agreement with Datuk Seri Najib that I will not be leading the BN in the 13th general election.
“And this will also mean that we have to set in motion the process of transferring the power. I informed the Supreme Council that the process would begin with the announcement I’m making today (yesterday).
“… that I plan to hand over the (Umno) president’s post to Datuk Seri Najib by middle of 2010,” he told a news conference after a close-door special briefing with Umno divisional leaders as well as leaders of the party’s three wings — Wanita, Youth and Puteri — at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
Asked whether there was any decision made to prevent contest for the party’s top two posts, Abdullah said there was none.
He hoped Najib would continue to be his deputy until he handed over the power.
“I feel that the relation is good. My intention is to strengthen the party and continue with the programmes which we have planned, including pledges made in the election.
“I would therefore be happy if my deputy, by the time I hand over the post, is Datuk Seri Najib. This will be my tribute to him and I have chosen him to be my successor for I’m confident that he will be able to lead the party,” he said.
Abdullah said during the transition process, both he and Najib would strive to consolidate the party and restore the people’s support to a level even stronger than before.
The prime minister said during the period he would also work extra hard in the effort to eradicate hardcore poverty apart from implementing other programmes.
Abdullah also expressed his gratitude to Najib for his deputy’s willingness to accept his leadership proposal, which was well-received by Umno leaders at the close-door meeting with them giving it a standing ovation and thunderous applause.
Asked why the year 2010 was chosen, Abdullah said the timeframe was sufficient for him to implement the various projects and programmes he had planned with Najib.
“During the period, God willing, all programmes including the judicial reform and the move to turn the Anti-Corruption Agency into a full-fledged commission would have been completed,” he said.
Abdullah said Najib also needed time to prepare for the leadership take-over and to face the next general election.
Asked why he chose to announce the leadership transition at this juncture, he said: “I think it is important that the process of handing over the power must take some time. During the period, Najib will also be attending forums and meetings which I normally attend, representing the government.”
He said the period would also give Najib the opportunity to interact with leaders from other countries.
The news conference yesterday, which was also attended by Najib, took place in a jovial mood, with Abdullah giving his deputy the opportunity to speak, before both of them fielded questions from the media.
The prime minister said he also appreciated the good cooperation and understanding he had with Najib on issues they both faced in the party and government.
He said both of them had been members of various cabinet committees set up to address issues of national importance. Najib was also assigned to handle many other tasks and head various committees, he said.
Asked on the Supreme Council members’ reaction to the decision, the prime minister said they had spoken their minds during the meeting and in the end, they agreed to it.
He described the standing ovation as a sign that they were agreeable to the decision.
“I hope this will be conveyed to the grassroots members who will definitely be interested to know what happened in the meeting. I hope the divisional leaders will convey the agreement reached between Datuk Seri Najib and I,” he said.
Asked whether he would stay out of power after stepping down as prime minister, Abdullah said, “You (will have to) wait for that. You will know when it happens.”
On allegations connecting Najib with the slain Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, Abdullah said the issue was another matter and had nothing to do with the decision made by the party yesterday.
On the move to table a motion of no-confidence by opposition leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail in Parliament yesterday, Abdullah said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president was free to move whatever motion and it would not affect the transition of power.
Asked by the media why he was expressionless and did not look sad about his decision, Abdullah spontaneously reacted as though he was crying and later laughed together with Najib and several Umno leaders who were present at the press conference.
“Well I feel bit of sadness. But I think there is more sense of achievement.
“I feel I was able to make a decision that is well received. That is what we want,” he said.
The prime minister said the leadership transition in the party should be a smooth process which was welcomed by the party so that whoever took over would be a leader to the party as a whole and not just to a few or to his supporters only.
“It’s normal that whenever there is a contest and someone wins, there will be some who will be disappointed, it will be difficult for the loser’s group,” he said.
As such, the power transition was the best approach and the party would not be in turmoil, Abdullah said.
Asked whether the power transition was being made due to pressure by certain groups, he said the decision was appropriate and if there were pressure, this occurred some time back and there had been many opinions raised on the matter.
“There were some who asked (me) to wait until the next election.
Many opinions… But what is important is my feelings on this matter and I must hand over the leadership to my successor,” he said.
Replying to a question whether the decision represented a victory to the opposition who wanted him to step down, he said: “I will face them. They want to get rid of me and BN. The opposition can say anything they like,” he said.
He said this was the time to carry out the promises made to the people and not to engage in party disputes and so on, where Umno was a responsible party that was not easily diverted from issues faced by the people.
Asked what he hoped Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah would do after the announcement yesterday, Abdullah said he left it to the Gua Musang Umno head to decide for himself.
The prime minister said he would not insist on the implementation of the projects that he had planned when someone else took over the government leadership, adding that the new leader would certainly have his own way of doing things.
“What is good is good and it does not mean that there cannot be value added,” he said.
Abdullah concluded the 27-minute long press conference saying he had made a decision and he would not retract it.