US must show sincerity


BY SYED AZHAR AND YAAKUB DASAN

KOTA BARU: The United States will confirm fears that it is fighting solely to exert its power in the region if it does not withdraw after defeating Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, said Acting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. 

“Assuming that the US and its allies win the war, they should then hand over the country to the United Nations. Otherwise,their intention to liberate the country from Saddam would be just a ploy. 

HERE IT IS:Abdullah showing a newly launched banner on Kelantan, Kelantan Towards Excellence',during his meeting with Umno leaders in Kelantan yesterday.

“But (the US) says no, no, no, it regards itself as a liberation force. 

“Liberation forces don’t remain in the country.  

“But if it decides to stay, then it will not be a liberator but a conqueror and the world will certainly turn against it,” Abdullah told reporters during a one-day visit to Kelantan. 

Abdullah was asked to comment on the statement by US Secretary of State Colin Powell that the United States would not cede control of Iraq to the United Nations if and when it overthrows Saddam. 

On Kelantan politics, Abdullah said he still believed that Barisan Nasional, under a rejuvenated Kelantan Umno, could wrest control of the state from the PAS government. 

“Despite the negative remarks by the opposition or whatever was said to demoralise Umno or Barisan, I still have hope that Barisan can do better than PAS for the social and physical development of Kelantan. 

“Whatever is said or done, Barisan will continue with its campaign to win back Kelantan so that we can bring the state into the mainstream of development,” said Abdullah, who is Umno deputy president. 

He said the response from the voters towards Umno was tremendous and this had prompted the party to intensify its campaign by building rapport with the people. 

“I am personally surprised with the people's response towards Umno although it is a perception that Umno has no place in Kelantan. 

“The gathering of more than 15,000 Wanita Umno members here today (yesterday) is living proof that Umno is still alive in an opposition state.” 

He said that if Umno was able to defeat PAS, Kelantan women would be given prominence in top government posts. 

Abdullah also urged Umno members to work with the party’s veterans to recapture the state.  

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