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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Syed Hamid: Pak Lah to chair last cabinet meeting on April 1

the edge | Written by Chan Kok Leong | Saturday, 28 March 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Home minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar confirmed that prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will chair his last cabinet meeting on Wednesday, April 1.

Abdullah has yet to announce his handover date to new Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak despite being asked repeatedly in press conferences.

“Maybe, he will say something today,” said Syed Hamid at the Home Ministry office in Putra World Trade Centre this morning.

“But Abdullah will chair his last cabinet meeting on April 1,” he added.

Syed Hamid, who lost in the vice-presidents’ race on Thursday, said this in response to a question on whether he will follow domestic trade and consumer affairs minister Datuk Shahrir Samad’s decision to quit the cabinet after losing in the Supreme Council race.

The Johor politician said he was not unhappy after losing and would not be disgruntled either if he is left out of Najib’s new cabinet.

“Losing is part and parcel of competition and this is the nature of politics. I knew of the odds against me and the three who won were the favourites from start to finish,” he added.

“My problem was that I could not reach out to the grassroots due to my position in the home ministry. I had a lot of problems, which affected my image and could not please everyone,” said the Kota Tinggi division chief.

Some of the problems he cited were related to the way he handled the Allah issue, Perak constitutional crisis and foreign workers matter.

“The Home Ministry is not a populist job and I acted with fairness and justice and did my utmost to protect the government and cabinet," he said.

As for not coming yesterday, Syed Hamid said it was because of a sinus problem and not his disappointment at the results.

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