Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said tonight that he will not do anything which will embarass the government once he stepped down as prime minister.
“That doesn’t mean you cannot do something. You can do something (constructive) without embarassing the government,” he said at a dinner chat with members of the business community when asked if he foresaw any role for him on the international arena once he left office.
“I would prefer to discuss with Najib (Deputy Prime Minister and successor Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) before I want to do something (like that),” Abdullah said.
The event “A Prime Minister’s Passage”, which was also attended by Raja Muda Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, was organised by the Kuala Lumpur Business Club at a hotel here.
Abdullah also said that he was happy to note that Najib would continue with the National Mission and the country’s national agenda towards achieving Malaysia’s Vision 2020 goals.
Replying to a question on his achievements and challenges, Abdullah said that he was happy that he managed to fulfill the promises he had made in areas such as reforms in the areas of judiciary and anti-corruption.
He cited the two bills — Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Bill and Judicial Appointments Commission Bill — that were passed in Parliament last December.
“That I am happy. It was a very big promise I made (and delivered),” Abdullah said.
Abdullah said he hoped the bill on the reforms of the police would also get through.
Abdullah said changes were needed in terms of approaches in achieving the 2020 goals as the challenges were harder now, adding, however, that the policy itself remained.
Asked about people crediting him for the greater openness he brought, Abdullah said: “Everybody seems to be happy with what they think about the (more) freedom given (under my administration).
However, Abdullah said the people must shoulder more responsibility if they were to be given more freedom.
“You must (also) think what is good for the people and the public, not just what is good for you (as an individual).
“I know that I have a higher level of tolerance. One thing… more freedom… you must be more responsible. There is no such thing as absolute freedom. All of us are restrained in some ways,” he said.
Abdullah stressed that if everyone was more responsible and rational, Malaysia would be a much better country, thus attracting more visitors and foreign investment.
On the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which he officially launch tomorrow, Abdullah said he believed the commission soon “will be very-very active” in its mission.
“They need some power in order to do what they have to do… they need freedom. That’s what we want to give them. We don’t want to interfere,” he said.
On the challenges of the Muslim community worldwide, Abdullah noted poverty, illiteracy and lack of progress were the real threats to the Muslim people and the countries.
That was why, Abdullah said, that when he was the chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), he came out with several initiatives to give an economic face to the 57-member organisation.
About what he would do once he stepped down from the prime minister’s post, Abdullah said he would have more time for golf, fishing and little bit of gardening, such as planting vegetables and fruit trees.
However, Abdullah said he would not start a personal blog.
Asked about what he would miss most, Abdullah said: “I don’t know what I am going to miss until I am out of office.”