Zahid: Umno will defend the unity govt

KUALA LUMPUR: Asserting that Umno will defend the unity government against any threats of collapse, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called on the people to give the government a chance to carry out its plans for the country.

“We will not allow anyone to threaten the government. Along with 18 other parties we will ensure the government serves until the end of the term,” he said in his policy speech at the opening of the Umno general assembly here yesterday.

Calling for parties in the government to work together, the Umno president said the party’s experience in administering the country coupled with the idealisms of others, the positive changes that they all desired would be a reality.

Steering the nation: Anwar (in blue) shaking hands with Zahid after the opening speech. — Kamarul Ariffin/The StarSteering the nation: Anwar (in blue) shaking hands with Zahid after the opening speech. — Kamarul Ariffin/The Star

“We must work together for the people, move as a team so that what we do will be good for Malaysians,” said Ahmad Zahid.

The Umno president said Putrajaya was aware of criticisms that this government had not done much to become the game changer.

However, he pointed out the government was in its infancy, having been formed just seven months ago, after the 15th General Election.

“Give this government a chance to roll out the agendas that it has promised and planned.

“I believe it can all be implemented with the help and support from civil servants who uphold the principles of loyalty and service to the government of the day,” he said.

Barisan Nasional, in which Umno is a coalition member, and Pakatan Harapan had set aside their hostility to join hands in the wake of the general election, where no single party won enough seats to form the government on its own.

Ahmad Zahid said there were issues which Umno would push for the government to look at, including the welfare of civil servants and the frontliners particularly on housing, teachers’ work burden and protection of workers’ rights.

“We should also look into what contract doctors have to say. After all, charity begins at home,” he said.

The party is also proposing for the commission for gig economy to be set up to monitor the gig economy ecosystem and protect the welfare of those in the industry.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, said a commission was needed for the fast-growing sector whose workforce had reached 1.12 million, of which 80% were young people.

“The government must also introduce a Felda 5.0 plan for the fifth generation of Felda settlers.

“This should include preparing quality education, entrepreneurship opportunities, access to technology, the right skillsets and housing plans for them,” he said.

Umno, he said, also wanted the High Speed Rail project to be implemented fast as well as the Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah and Sarawak.

He said these projects would create new economic growth areas, open job opportunities and growth for small industries.

In an immediate response to Ahmad Zahid’s speech, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof welcomed Umno’s commitment towards ensuring a strong and stable government.

“There should be unity so that the government’s position is strong for us to execute our agendas for the people,” said Fadillah, who is also Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chief whip.

Amanah deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub also shared similar views, pointing out that the presence of representatives from parties in the government reflected that stand.

“It is time for us to fortify the relationship and today I’m here with Amanah president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu as partners (in the government).

“The speech spells out our direction and we shouldn’t question any more. We need to give full support to the unity government,” he said.

Salahuddin said a greater agenda for the people would become a more important discourse worth focusing on.

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