Thursday, July 26, 2007
Rais Withdraws From Commonwealth Sec-Gen Race
KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 (Bernama) -- Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim today announced that he is withdrawing from the contest for the Commonwealth secretary-general's post.
He said this was due to his duties and commitments as the chairman of the Main Committee of the Merdeka Celebrations, which limited him from going abroad to lobby for it.
"The responsibilities for this year's Merdeka celebrations being the 50th year of independence are far too heavy and as such does not give me the opportunity to make personal visits abroad to do any lobbying... it is one of the problems I am facing and as such it is not fair for me to say that I want to contest but am unable to campaign like the other candidates," he told Bernama.
"My responsibilities (for the Merdeka celebrations) are far more important and furthermore it is already too late (to campaign)... so it's better that I withdraw," he said.
Malaysia had nominated Rais to be a candidate for the post last month.
Rais said he had informed Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that he was withdrawing from the race and also Wisma Putra (Foreign Ministry).
He added that Wisma Putra had acknowledged that it understood his predicament.
The election for the post will be held at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala, Uganda, in November.
Two other candidates in the fray are India's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Kamalesh Sharma and Malta's Foreign Minister, Michael Frendo.
The election is being held as the term of office of the current secretary-general, Don McKinnon of New Zealand, ends on March 31, 2008.
tunku : wise decision by rais yatim. he should be in the government and umno as he is one of the cabinet minister who is not half past six type.keep up the good work rais.