Bersatu rejects Ahmad Zahid’s allegations that government has failed to fulfil Malaysians' aspirations
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) has rejected allegations by United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that the government has failed to realise people’s aspirations.
Ahmad Zahid had cited the government's failure to control the COVID-19 pandemic, address the economic downturn and realise people’s aspirations among the factors that led to UMNO’s decision to leave the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
"Bersatu rejects the accusation by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that the government has failed to fulfil the people’s aspirations," wrote the party's information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan in a statement on Thursday (Jul 8).
"His accusations only resemble the allegations which are frequently raised by the opposition, especially PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) and DAP (Democratic Action Party)."
He also said that the UMNO leader had failed to maintain unity among the Malay-Muslim political parties.
“(Ahmad Zahid) has failed to understand that people want a concerned government that prioritises their needs, failed to understand that people are fed up with excessive politicking,” according to the statement.
The Bersatu politician added that Ahmad Zahid had failed to make use of the many UMNO talents who are serving in the government to jointly focus on serving the people. He also said the UMNO president has put personal agendas over the people’s.
Mr Wan Saiful outlined how the government had issued various forms of assistance, including aid packages exceeding RM500 billion (US$119 billion) for welfare and rebuilding the economy.
Other steps such as the national recovery plan, he said, clearly outlined the strategy for bringing Malaysians out from the COVID-19 pandemic, as daily vaccination rates had risen to over 300,000 and the country’s supply was due to rise to 16 million by the end of July 2021.
“The announcement by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi does not affect the government’s running as under the Westminster democratic system, the government is formed by a prime minister based on the largest support from MPs.” Mr Wan Saiful pointed out.
READ: PM Muhyiddin and Cabinet can still exercise executive powers despite UMNO's withdrawal, says attorney-general
The information chief stated that Bersatu always held firm to transparency, being corruption free and and respecting the sovereignty of Malaysia’s laws.
“Bersatu will never agree to any threats or demands to interfere in the matters of the courts for any reason,” he wrote.
UMNO's status as a partner within the ruling PN government, led by Bersatu under Mr Muhyiddin, had been increasingly called into question.
During the UMNO general assembly in March this year, the party had concluded it would withdraw support for the PN government if there were no indications of a general election within the near future.
Earlier in March, the party had also indicated it would not cooperate with Bersatu once the current parliament was dissolved.
On Wednesday, Mr Muhyiddin reshuffled his Cabinet, promoting senior minister for defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob to deputy prime minister.
Mr Hishammuddin Hussein, who held the foreign affairs portfolio, was promoted to senior minister as well.
There had been speculation that some UMNO leaders, including Mr Ismail Sabri and Mr Hishammuddin, are against the idea of a breakaway from PN at this juncture when there is a pandemic.
Earlier on Thursday, Malaysia’s Attorney-General Idrus Harun said Mr Muhyiddin and his Cabinet ministers can continue to exercise their federal executive powers, as there is no clear evidence to show that he no longer has the support of the majority of lawmakers in parliament.