PUTRAJAYA: Umno ministers need to continue staying on in the Cabinet because of their responsibility towards the rakyat, says Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (pic).
The Youth and Sports Minister said many among the party’s nine Cabinet members hold important posts, especially those that were directly related to pandemic management.
“Many of Umno’s ministers are directly involved in programmes that affect the rakyat.
“(Science, Technology and Innovation Minister) Khairy (Jamaluddin) is very busy with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme that he oversees.
“Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba as Health Minister has his Covid-19 programme. These jobs are all a priority and we must carry them out for the people, ” Reezal said at a press conference after the launch of the Malaysian Vaccine Support Volunteers programme.
Reezal was commenting on calls for Umno ministers to relinquish their posts, considering that the party has decided to cut ties with the Perikatan Nasional government in the 15th General Election.
Reezal noted that Umno had not made a resolution that called for its ministers to resign from the Cabinet at the party’s general assembly.
“The resolution did not say that the ministers need to resign immediately.
“Also, if we abandon our responsibilities, it will give a bad picture towards the party.
“People will say Umno ministers are irresponsible, ” he said.
Also present at the press conference was Khairy.
Reezal, who is Umno supreme council member, said he agreed with Khairy’s call for the Umno elections to be held before GE15.
“After the 2018 party elections, Umno pledged that there would be no more postponements in the future.
“The pledge has been made to the grassroots so we must keep our word.
“The party elections must be held to form a fresh team that will lead the party in GE15, ” said Reezal.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s suggestion that holding party polls before GE15 could weaken the party was also scoffed at.
“Umno postponed the party elections in 2018 because of GE14. We still lost, ” said Khairy, who is Rembau Umno deputy chief.
Dr Adham said the Umno ministers were determined to stay with the current government to ensure that all the efforts outlined could be implemented successfully.
“We (Umno) remain in the Cabinet to help the country and ensure that every existing agenda is implemented as best as possible, ” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a note of cooperation between the National Unity and Health ministries here yesterday.
He added that Umno ministers had big responsibilities in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, citing, among them, Senior Minister (Security) and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who manages security issues.
“This is very important and should be given priority, ” he said.
Asked whether remaining in the Cabinet violated the party’s ruling, Dr Adham opined that it was not wrong as he said the motion decided was for Umno to withdraw its support for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia when facing GE15.