BN sec-gen cannot verify statement by coalition MPs backing PN govt

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Barisan Nasional (BN) cannot verify a statement allegedly made by the coalition’s members of parliament backing the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir today denied issuing any statement that the coalition’s lawmakers are backing Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in open defiance of the Umno supreme council’s decision.

He said he could not comment further on the matter.

“I cannot comment on this matter as no one has come forward to admit they were responsible in issuing such statement nor could I establish the authenticity of the letter,” he said.

Farhan Najib

He said he doesn’t know the original poster of the statement that has been widely circulated, noting that its authenticity is questionable as there was no name or use of the BN logo which accompanies all its official documents.

Zambry said his office is authorised to issue official statements approved by the BN supreme council and the coalition’s top leaders.

He emphasised that the practice of unity and solidarity among BN MPs in making decisions remains.

“Therefore, any measures and actions created by certain parties for the purpose of creating doubts and divisions among BN members is very regrettable,” he said in a statement.

On July 7, a statement allegedly issued by BN MPs with no letterhead nor signature declaring support for the PN government was widely circulated on social media platforms.

The statement also mentioned that the Umno supreme council had agreed in a meeting on Wednesday to allow its federal lawmakers to continue backing Muhyiddin as the prime minister.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak was among the first BN members to respond to the purported statement of support for Muhyiddin.

In a Facebook post, the former prime minister said he did not agree with the proclamation of support for Muhyiddin and would not go against the Umno supreme council’s stance either.

However, Free Malaysia Today cited Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is the newly minted deputy prime minister, verifying the document as genuine.

Separately, The Star reported Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Padang Besar MP Datuk Seri Zahidi Zainul Abidin supporting the statement.

“Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also stated that MPs are free to vote to support anybody in Parliament.

“However, the statement by Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan saw a new condition being imposed on Umno MPs, where it is necessary to use party decisions as a guide in carrying out their duties during parliamentary sessions.

“This does not seem to reflect the initial decision announced by the Umno president. The Umno and BN MPs hold on to the statement made by the Umno president which is to allow discretionary freedom to MPs to make decisions during the voting session,” Shahidan said in a statement earlier.

Meanwhile, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, who is also Pontian MP, said he was unaware of the letter sent out to pledge BN’s backing for Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional administration to continue leading “the agenda defending the people”.

“No one contacted me about that statement,” Ahmad was quoted as saying.

However, former BN secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa confirmed that the letter sent out without the coalition’s letterhead was genuine.

When asked why Najib claimed not to know about the letter, the Ketereh MP pointedly said this was unlikely.

“That Najib…he already knows everything,” said Annuar, an outspoken Umno leader and a staunch critic of his party president Zahid.

Related report: July 9, Najib: Name the BN MPs who claim to support PM, govt