KUALA LUMPUR: Umno’s Besut MP Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh is backing the Perikatan Nasional government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to help curb politicking in the midst of a worsening Covid-19 pandemic.
“We should focus on assisting the people. Increasing vaccinations and helping the economy recover.
“For the benefit of the people and to minimise politicking, I have decided to support the present government under Muhyiddin,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Idris also took Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to task, questioning the Umno president’s political stand.
He said he could not see Ahmad Zahid’s direction in leadership, claiming that the Bagan Datuk MP was always changing his mind.
“Ahmad Zahid once said that Umno MPs were free to support anyone in Parliament but now, he ordered us to retract support from the government. His decisions are always changing.
“Unfortunately, I can’t see his ‘game plan’. We were told to reject Muhyiddin but what’s next? Are we ready to be the Opposition and allow non-Malay leaders to manage Islamic affairs?
“Are we ready to support (PKR president Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim as we (know) about their close relationship?” he asked.
Idris said the Perikatan government was not perfect but was the best choice for Malaysians now.
“Umno’s future will be brighter if we are together with the government led by Muhyiddin. This government is not perfect but to avoid a bigger tragedy, it is the best option for now,” he said.
In response, Terengganu Umno chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Said said that it was up to Idris on whether to abide by the party’s stand to retract support for Perikatan, adding that it had not ordered him to step down as Felda chairman.
However, he claimed that three more Umno MPs would retract support from Muhyiddin soon.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the Prime Minister’s decision to call for a motion of confidence in Parliament had helped to calm the political situation.
“The one month before Parliament sits in September should be used for the good of the people and to ensure that the country remains stable.
“Let’s work together as a team for the sake of the future generations,” said Mustapa, who is from Bersatu, in a statement.
On Wednesday, Muhyiddin said that he had informed the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that he would prove that he still had the majority of support from MPs with a motion of confidence to be tabled in Parliament in September.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the Prime Minister’s announcement on the motion proved that Malaysia’s democracy was alive.
He said the announcement could at least put an end to the debate over Muhyiddin’s legitimacy as Prime Minister, which had often been raised by the Opposition.
“We will hold a parliamentary meeting and the Prime Minister’s legitimacy will be voted on the floor of the Dewan Rakyat. That to me is a living democracy.
“To me, going to the Parliament to get the support vote is wise. Otherwise, it will never end,” he said on Bicara Naratif on TV1 on Wednesday.
Saifuddin described Muhyiddin’s action in seeking the King’s approval over the matters that were discussed as “prudent and proper”.
“I hope this opens a new chapter among the people so that we do not judge and claim that something that did not happen has happened. To me, the Prime Minister provided a clear explanation at the Cabinet meeting earlier, and the conclusion was that he had a good meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” he said.
Saifuddin also praised PAS for remaining consistent in supporting Muhyiddin despite the current political developments.
“So, the journey of democracy is long. Of course, we want a large coalition that can really save the people, especially in the face of the current pandemic,” he said.
Asked if the country was on its way to political maturity, Saifuddin said the process was long, and all parties, including the government and the Opposition, should act maturely to uphold moderate and prudent democratic politics.
Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa had described Muhyiddin’s relationship with the King as “special”.
Muhyiddin, he said, would always start the Cabinet meeting by conveying His Majesty’s decrees, including reprimands, thus debunking the accusations that he was a “traitor”.
“This week alone, Muhyiddin was granted an audience by His Majesty three times – when there was confusion over the amendment to the Emergency Ordinance on July 28, before the Cabinet meeting on July 29 and on Wednesday.
“A ‘traitor’ would not have been allowed to enter Istana Negara. Only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong knows whether the person is a traitor or not,” said Annuar, who is from Umno, on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme which discussed the topic “Politik: Apa lagi selepas ini?”. — Bernama