DPM: Statement is genuine

For those in need: Ismail Sabri (centre) meeting with food basket recipients at the Charuk Puting mosque in Bera. — Bernama

BERA: Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob says a statement dated July 29 with a Barisan Nasional letterhead claiming that 40 Members of Parliament are fully behind the Prime Minister’s leadership is genuine.The Deputy Prime Minister said the statement, which had his name at the bottom, was drafted after consent was obtained from the 39 Barisan MPs involved following a meeting.

The statement began circulating on social media on Thursday and Barisan executive secretary Mohamad Sahfri Ab Aziz immediately denied that the coalition had issued it.

He said any official statement must be issued by the Barisan chairman or secretary-general, and it could only be issued via the coalition’s official channel.

Ismail Sabri, who is Umno vice-president, was of the view that the letterhead issue was the only reason why Mohamad Shafri deemed the statement as fake.

“If I want to issue a press release, what is the letterhead I should use then? The Barisan letterhead (of course) as the other MPs and I are from Barisan.

“To me, there is no issue as what is important is the content, which states that 40 of the 42 Barisan MPs support the current government,” he said after handing out food baskets to the needy at the Charuk Puting mosque and also after inspecting the Guai bridge project here yesterday.

Ismail Sabri contended that the matter was not against the stance adopted by the Umno supreme council to allow its MPs (who are not ministers) the freedom of not having to resign (from their positions).

“From a legal point of view, if support for the Prime Minister is withdrawn, the government falls.

“So the MPs were of the view that we should support the government to keep it intact,” he added.

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