PETALING JAYA: The letter issued on Thursday (July 29) by the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers' Club (BNBBC) supporting the Prime Minister is not fake, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he had chaired the meeting of the 40 Barisan MPs at Parliament on Thursday and they issued the statement with the Barisan letterhead as they were, indeed, from Barisan.
“We are from the BNBBC and we used the Barisan letterhead,” Ismail Sabri said.
The Umno vice-president also stated that the postponement of the Dewan Rakyat on Aug 2 was made based on health and scientific data on the advice of the Health Ministry.
The legitimacy of the statement issued by the Deputy Prime Minister stating the support of 40 MPs for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin became an issue after Barisan executive secretary Muhammad Sahfri denied there was such a statement of support for the PM from Barisan immediately after it was issued.
The statement by Ismail Sabri, dated July 29, said that while adhering to the statement by the King on July 29 on the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances, Barisan MPs, as a bloc, fully supported the leadership of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“I chaired a meeting with 40 Barisan Nasional MPs. We agreed that we would adhere to the statement of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“Barisan Nasional MPs, as a bloc, unanimously support the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin," the statement read.
The 40 Barisan MPs include 38 from Umno, MCA (two), MIC (one) and PBRS (one).
On July 29, Sahfri had issued another letter stating that only the Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi or party secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir could issue any statements with the Barisan letterhead as its official communication channel.
However, Barisan's Ketereh MP and Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa later confirmed the authenticity of Ismail Sabri’s statement that 40 Barisan MPs supported Muhyiddin.
The Ketereh Umno division chief said the statement issued by Ismail Sabri on Thursday (July 29) stating the support of the Barisan MPs was genuine.
“I confirm the statement by the Deputy Prime Minister, which was issued after meeting 40 Barisan lawmakers - including five who had given their mandate as they could not attend due to being overseas, in quarantine, or sick,” he had said in a Facebook post on Friday (July 30).