Puad: Umno Ministers Rebuked for Not Backing Emergency Bid

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Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his supporters in the cabinet had targeted Umno ministers for criticism for not supporting their bid to declare a state of emergency, Umno’s Mohd Puad Zakarshi said.

The Umno Supreme Council member said the incident took place during last Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

He said the Umno ministers had come under attack for not practising “collective responsibility” in supporting the call for emergency despite the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decision to reject it.

“If there was political honesty, surely the Umno ministers would have not been criticised in the Zoom cabinet meeting last Wednesday.

“Umno became the target as the ministers supported the Agong’s decision to reject the proposal for an emergency.

Seth Akmal/TMI

“They said Umno ministers did not practise collective responsibility,” Puad said in a statement today.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah last Sunday rejected the emergency bid put in by the government after meeting with several other Malay rulers, citing that a state of emergency was not necessary at this point to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhyiddin, however, suggested yesterday that an emergency was needed to postpone the Batu Sapi by-election next month and the impending Sarawak polls to avoid another possible Covid-19 spike.

Puad also said the reason Umno met twice in the past week was to firm up the party’s stand on continued cooperation with Perikatan Nasional (PN) despite being sidelined.

“It has to do with ‘political honesty’. When there is no honesty, then an immediate meeting must be held to avoid suspicion, sabotage and politicking,” he said.

The former Batu Pahat lawmaker added Umno has the right to demand for the deputy prime minister’s post as the party has the most seats in PN.

“The issue of the deputy prime minister post becomes difficult due to the lack of political honesty. Umno should be given the role of DPM. Umno does not need to be apologetic and afraid of being accused of power crazy.

“In business there must be profit sharing, If there are parties that provide greater capita, the fair thing is for the profit to be divided by 80-20,” said Puad.

Top PN leaders met earlier today to discuss the agenda ahead of the crucial Parliament sitting, which starts tomorrow for the Budget 2021 session.

The Agong earlier last week advised all politicians to support Budget 2021 in light of the Covid-19 pandemic as the funds are crucial for medical supplies and front-liners.

Muhyiddin yesterday also urged all political parties to put aside their differences and come together to vote for the budget to fight the pandemic.

Puad said all parties will definitely support the budget if concessions are made and suggestions from the opposition included in the bill, including on the moratorium extension and being able to withdraw from account 1 of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

“Among the popular demands of the people are for the loan moratorium to resume and withdrawal from the EPF account 1. The opposition parties also have called for a confidence and supply agreement.

“Therefore, it is Muhyiddin’s responsibility to accept the views of all parties, including the opposition. If it needs to be changed, it needs to be changed. This demands political honesty,” he said.

Opposition parties, including DAP and Muda, have called for bipartisanship for the budget but with terms and conditions, including equal constituency allocations and an extension of the moratorium for bank loans.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz is meeting several opposition leaders to discuss the budget today before the national expenditure and supply bill is tabled on Friday. – TMI