Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin does not believe Mahathirism will return when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak becomes the Prime Minister next year.
He insisted that Najib had his own ideas, vision and strong political determination to lead the country towards a new era not only for the Malays but for all Malaysians.
“It will be improper for anyone to say the country and Umno would be under the control of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when Najib takes over the premiership,” said Muhyiddin, a contender for the deputy president’s post.
“I don’t think Najib would want it to happen as he has his own political programmes to re-strengthen Umno and regain the people’s confidence,” he told reporters Sunday after opening the Pagoh Umno division general assembly.
He was commenting on former de facto Law Minister Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s comment in the Sunday Star that Najib’s impending rise to the Umno presidency would mark the return of Mahathirism.
Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said Zaid’s comments only showed he was anti-Mahathir.
He said Zaid revealed his anti-Mahathir streak when he called on Cabinet ministers to seek forgiveness from the judges who had been sacked or suspended in the 1988 judicial crisis.
Mukhriz said Zaid had asked the Cabinet to do so even before he took his oath of office as minister.
He added that Zaid’s latest remarks truly showed his hatred for Dr Mahathir, who had lifted Malaysia’s image, dignity and prosperity to a level never achieved before.
Speaking to reporters Sunday before attending a Hari Raya gathering with Umno Youth members here, Mukhriz claimed that Zaid’s efforts to make the judicial appointments system more transparent and to allow the Bar Council to be involved in the appointment of judges would not play much of a role in the nation’s progress.
He asserted the reform issues raised by the former minister, if not implemented, would not cause the nation to crumble, adding that Malaysians had lived all this while without them.
“Zaid claimed he wanted to reform the system and to save Umno but I don’t see how all the issues he mentioned will benefit the Malays or Umno,” added Muhkriz who is vying for the Umno Youth presidency.
Star Sunday October 12, 2008