UMNO bigwigs meet over party direction

SHAH ALAM: For two days, Umno leaders evaded reporters who camped at a hotel here, where a retreat for party supreme council members was held to discuss the party's direction and winning back the people's support.

Soon after the two-day meeting ended around noon yesterday, party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak went off without meeting the media, while others party leaders declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting.

Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad merely said: “We talked about Umno strategic planning. This was more an opportunity for members to sit down and talk about what to do with the party.”

Asked whether there was a potential political setback in view of the petrol hike, he said: “I don't think so because in the end, there are other aspects of overall programmes that we are giving back to the people.

“What we have to emphasise is this is the first time we are reducing the subsidy for petrol,” he said.

When approached, Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he did not have the authority to say anything about the event.

On whether the succession plan of the Prime Minister ws discussed, he said: “I have no right to say yes or no.”

On the outcome of the retreat, he said: “Very positive."

No need to meet la- it's a waste of time. Just abandon party.

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