Azmin sidesteps question on Malaysia DPM candidacy, stresses Bersatu and PN's role in strengthening government
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Senior Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said the current government is committed to improving Malaysia's economy and managing the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.
Speaking to reporters on Monday (Aug 8), he sidestepped questions about his purported nomination by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) as its sole candidate for deputy prime ministership.
“I want to reiterate - the government of the day is focused and committed to two important matters.
“First, we are committed to recovering and making the national economy smarter. That is our commitment as a government. Secondly, we want to handle and manage COVID-19 more effectively,” he said at the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticultural and Agrotourism Show 2022.
The current federal administration of Malaysia has four senior ministers in place of a deputy prime minister.
Malaysian media reported that the deputy prime minister’s post had been promised to Bersatu in an agreement signed between Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin and Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob in August last year, before the latter was appointed as the prime minister.
Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin was supposed to meet Mr Ismail Sabri last Thursday to discuss the execution of the agreement terms, but the prime minister cancelled the meeting at the last minute, according to Free Malaysia Today.
Barisan Nasional (BN) and PN make up the current federal ruling alliance.
PN, which consists of Bersatu, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia and several others, is the largest coalition in the government.
Mr Mohamed Azmin, who led an exodus of MPs from Mr Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat, joined Bersatu in August 2020. He is currently a member of Bersatu’s supreme leadership council.
The Minister of International Trade and Industry said on Monday that he and his colleagues in Bersatu and PN wanted to strengthen the current coalition government.
“Because with a stable government, a strong government, the people will benefit, and the country will prosper, god willing,” he said.
Instead of getting ensnared in politics that brings no benefits to ordinary Malaysians, Mr Mohamed Azmin said he would like to see action-oriented politics that could serve them.
The government of the day is a coalition and not a single-party government, he added.
“So when my friends and I said yesterday that it is our joint responsibility to strengthen the government, it means that we want to strengthen the current government coalition. If we are weak, then the PN government is also weak.
“It becomes my responsibility to ensure the government of the day is strong, so we can handle these two issues,” he said.
On Saturday, Mr Ismail Sabri told reporters that the government is prepared for the next general election (GE15) if any party withdraws its support.
“If support is withdrawn, then we have no choice but to dissolve parliament and have GE15 as the solution. We’ll just wait,” he was quoted as saying by the Star.
He said that in response to reports of PN threatening to withdraw support for the government because he did not honour the agreement to appoint a Bersatu MP as deputy prime minister.