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Friday, March 27, 2009

Muhyiddin looks to by-elections, stresses party unity

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — malaysianinsider -By Shannon Teoh

Having agitated the speedy demise of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Umno president, the party's new No. 2 is quickly working to stress party unity ahead of three crucial by-elections.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also stressed his support for Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his efforts to reform the party.

"Najib has his way of doing things, very much focused and committed on seeing issues being addressed," the deputy president said today.

"He will start cracking and things move as soon as possible. We will start now or last night, not tomorrow, or the day after, or a year from now. That will be too late. This is a working team," he added to emphasise unity in the newly elected top leadership.

He refuted claims of party splits arising from the party polls. "The electorate has to look at a holistic basis, not just Youth and Wanita."

He also echoed Najib's call for reforms and said he was "honoured to be given the chance to serve and help Najib move forward and speed up reforms to regain lost ground, both political and psychological."

When asked if he would continue to be vocal, he said that as deputy president, he now had direct access to the president and could now "sit down and discuss with no need to shout anymore."

"Najib has shown he is willing to listen and engage. The most important thing is not being vocal but what change we can bring," he said.

Also adopting Najib's old role as BN elections chief by virtue of also being BN deputy chairman, Muhyiddin said he will be leading the triple header April 7 by-elections campaign having met with Najib to discuss the matter last night.

The three new vice-presidents would also have to deputise at one by-election each with Sabah vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal delegated to Batang Ai in Sarawak, Perak Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in Bukit Gantang and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in Bukit Selambau.

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