Umno received more than it deserved after its MPs gave their cooperation and agreed to work with Perikatan Nasional (PN) in forming the ruling federal government, Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa says.
As such, he said it would be inappropriate for the party to leave the PN government now, especially when the country is struggling to fight Covid-19 and since most of the pandemic-related matters are being handled by ministers from Umno.
“With 38 seats (in Parliament), Umno has got the deputy prime minister, senior minister, as well as 19 ministers and deputy ministers. We have got more than we deserved. We used to be the opposition, we cannot be greedy,” he told Bernama after appearing as a guest on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme last night.
Annuar, who is Umno’s MP for Ketereh, also questioned the party’s direction if it were to continue withdrawing its support for the PN government.
“Where are we going? (They) told us to leave the government, but didn’t tell us where to go. We have only 38 seats in Parliament. If we want to form a government, we must have 110 seats.
“Where can we get the other 90 seats? I don’t want to support Anwar Ibrahim and DAP.
“There is indeed some confusion in Umno regarding its cooperation with the PN government,” he said, adding that Umno should hold further discussions on the direction of the party.
Annuar said it would be inappropriate if Umno ministers withdrew from their responsibility to help the people during the pandemic.
For instance, he said Health Minister Dr Adham Baba is in charge of health, and Senior Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is in charge of security and matters relating to Covid-19 as a whole.
“Imagine Khairy Jamaluddin (minister of science, technology and innovation), who is in charge of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme and busy with the vaccination programme suddenly leaving the government. Would it be appropriate? Is that how we take our responsibilities?” he asked.
Questioning what he called the ungrateful attitude of some Umno leaders towards the responsibility and trust placed in them by the PN government, Annuar said: “I don’t want my future generations to criticise us and say that it all happened because Umno ran from its responsibilities. No. We cannot have that.”
On the formation of the PN government, Annuar said Barisan Nasional (BN) made a pledge to support PN without being a member and Umno also agreed to the decision based on the support of its MPs.
“That was why the decision to support the government was not brought to the party’s Supreme Council. The decision was made by the Umno MPs themselves when they met and signed their statutory declarations. It was something that had never happened in our country before,” he said.
Annuar said the PN government was formed with the intention of saving the country from the failure of the previous government following internal disputes which led to the resignation of the prime minister and political instability in the country.
“To save and to ensure that the country will be administered in a more organised and proper way, we saw a political collaboration by several factions of Bersatu, Umno, PAS and other parties to form the new government with a very thin majority,” he said.
The Umno-PN controversy resurfaced on Tuesday after Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that the party’s Supreme Council had decided to withdraw its support for the PN government and Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.