Aug 13, 2013

    Pak Lah dismisses allegations over book

    FORMER Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Badawi yesterday denied that he had conspired with the opposition to go against Umno, his own party, through a controversial new publication that has been dubbed "Pak Lah's book".

    In Awakening: The Abdullah Badawi Years In Malaysia, the former premier had criticised his predecessor, Tun Mahathir Mohamad.

    Datuk Seri Abdullah yesterday clarified that he did not write the book, sponsor it or ask for it to be published.

    The book, edited by political analysts and Malaysia experts James Chin and Bridget Welsh, contains essays by Malaysian and foreign political pundits, academia and writers giving their take on the Abdullah years between October 2003 and March 2009, The Malaysian Insider reported.

    Yesterday, Mr Abdullah said he was interviewed by the two academics "on the principle of openness for a balanced debate with regard to all points of view", said Bernama news agency.

    "I agreed to be interviewed only so that my views and explanations can be carried in the book," he said.

    Referring to the alleged conspiracy, Mr Abdullah said in a statement, as quoted by Bernama: "That is tantamount to twisting the facts and is slanderous. The criticisms given during the interview with me, as contained in the book, were made because I wish to see that Umno continues to have the people's mandate and trust. I have never left Umno and, God willing, when the time comes I will breathe my an Umno member who loves his motherland."