Thursday, June 19, 2008

Government Must Be Sensitive To Demands By Sabah And Sarawak Components

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Bernama)

Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said the government must be sensitive to the demands made by the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties from Sabah and Sarawak to resolve whatever misunderstandings there may be.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Adullah Ahmad Badawi and the Umno leadership must be diplomatic and hold discussions with the leaders from Sabah and Sarawak.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with Umno leaders from the Federal Territory here Wednesday night, Tengku Razaleigh said without the component parties from the two states, the present government would not have obtained the mandate to govern the country as Umno's strength now was due to the success of the component parties from Sabah and Sarawak in the March 8 general election.

He said this when asked to comment on the announcement by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee that his party had lost confidence in the leadersip of the Prime Minister.

"From my understanding, the best way out now is for the Prime Minister to step down so that a more suitable candidate can take over and regain the people's confidence in Umno and the BN," he said.

He also alleged that there were Umno divisions in the peninsula that were dissatisfied with the Prime Minister's leadership.

"At a closed-door Umno meeting in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, recently there was also no unanimous decision reached whether to retain Abdullah in his current position," he said.

When asked whether he would withdraw from standing for the Umno presidency at the party's election in December if there were another candidate offering himself, he said: "I continue with my stance and I am not retreating. What I have started, I will finish it."

Meanwhile, in a separate statement faxed here, Tengku Razaleigh said he wanted the best for Umno and had put himself on the line to reform Umno.

"I want what is best for Umno and I have put myself on the line to reform Umno, if our leaders refuse to face reality, I fear the worst for the party and this government," he said.

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