Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he will handle his leadership and head of UMNO party to Datuk Seri Najib Razak in June 2010, thus defying pressure to step down this December.
According to thestar online (July 11, 2008): ( http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/7/11/nation/21800322&sec=nation )
Najib: I’m deeply touched to be Pak Lah’s successor
KUALA LUMPUR: Deeply touched. That is Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's feeling at being handpicked by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to be his successor.
“It is not an easy matter to step down as Prime Minister and Umno president but because he has taken into consideration the views of the public, he is willing to do so and I am deeply touched,” he said yesterday.
“I feel even more (touched) when Yang Amat Berhormat has given me the confidence.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Umno number two said that during the two-year period, Abdullah would outline their respective roles and duties.
“I still consider him my leader.”
Najib said the decision yesterday signalled the beginning of the transition process in an organised manner, which was according to Umno tradition.
He added he had enjoyed a close relationship with Abdullah and wanted it to continue during the transition period and beyond.
“I hope our relationship will last insya Allah (God willing). Umno needs the full support of present and past leaders.”Najib said Abdullah's decision showed that the transition process would be smooth, without compromising traditions and the image of the party or any leaders.
He said that he had told an earlier briefing with leaders from the respective wings and division chiefs to support Abdullah's nomination as Umno president in the coming party elections.
“I also appealed that the transition plan be accepted by the party,” he said.
He said he had also offered himself to contest as deputy party president and hoped members would be able to accept him in that capacity.