Sunday, May 25, 2008

'People sad but accept ruling'

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore has to ensure that the people of Malaysia, especially fishermen, will not be adversely affected by the ruling awarding Pulau Batu Puteh to the republic, Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday.

He said while the people of Johor were saddened by the decision, Malaysians had to accept the court's decision.

Muhyiddin distanced himself from the statement by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim that the court had given a "win-win" ruling.

"We lost it (Pulau Batu Puteh). I will not say it is a win-win situation," he said after a closed-door briefing with Umno members on the party's ethics.

Muhyiddin disagreed with those who blamed the past administration for the loss. "We are collectively responsible."

Asked whether the party's constitution should be amended to prevent members from demanding a leader to step down, he said such a move would be seen as undemocratic.

He said every member had the right to voice his views.

"We are a democratic party. It is a matter of how and the kind of language used when they express their views."

On the possibility of mass resignations from the party, Muhyiddin said he believed that 99.99 per cent of Umno members would remain in the party because they had faith in Umno fighting for Malay rights and Islam.

He urged members to behave in accordance with the ethics set by the party.

"We are under the scrutiny of the Malays as well as the non-Malays. We must behave properly and ensure our actions do not tarnish the party's image."

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