PETALING JAYA: If Umno ministers decide to remain in the Perikatan Nasional Cabinet, then they shouldn't be silent towards government decisions that affect the general public, says former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Najib said although there's no compulsion for Umno ministers to resign from the Cabinet despite the outcome of its recently concluded general assembly, the ministers concerned have a responsibility to the people given the slew of issues that cropped up recently.
"If Umno ministers decided not to resign because they have a responsibility to the people and Umno's image won't be tainted, then there is a need for them not to be silent when the government makes illogical decisions that clearly harm the people," he said.
In a Facebook post Thursday (April 1), Najib said the issues included the suspension of Parliament, as he pointed out that Malaysia is the only country in the world that suspended parliamentary proceedings to curb Covid-19.
He also criticised the delays on implementing Undi18, but said he was satisfied after Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he had raised the issue in Cabinet on Wednesday (March 31).
However, Najib said the amendment to the Emergency Ordinance announced on Wednesday was shocking, as it allows the government to make allocations without going through Parliament.
"Is there any democratic country in the world where the government is not held accountable to Parliament in terms of government expenditure?" he asked.
Najib also criticised the government's decision to raise the country's debt limit, cancelling the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project and the sale of Silterra Malaysia, which is Khazanah Nasional Bhd's semiconductor unit.
He questioned the rationality of selling Silterra Malaysia to a foreign company at RM273mil when the semiconductor industry is currently doing well in the world.
"The money from this sale is not even enough to pay the RM320mil compensation to Singapore," he quipped.
"Don't give excuses that you want to be responsible to the people and you don't want to taint Umno's image if you still want to be silent on issues that are clearly wrong," he added.
There is infighting in Umno between the factions that want to remain with the Perikatan government and the other that wants to sever ties with Perikatan.
Khairy had recently called for Umno supreme council to expedite party polls in order to put an end to infighting.
However, Najib had argued against party polls being expedited, as he said party polls held before GE15 could cause further division in the party.