UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he – and the party’s disciplinary board – will be keeping a close eye on the 10 Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs who signed statutory declarations (SDs) in support of Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.
Though he has forgiven them, Zahid said he wanted to ensure that the 10 MPs do not make similar moves in the future.
Explaining to the media outside the World Trade Centre today, the Bagan Datuk MP said the action by the 10 MPs happened when no party was able to obtain a simple majority to form government after the Nov 19 elections.
“They revoked their support (for PN) and signed a statutory declaration. That is now in the past, and now (they are) together with the unity government,” Zahid said.
“I have forgiven (them for) what has happened, but I, together with the disciplinary board will monitor if there is anyone who tries to make any moves.
“But I am confident that they will continue to be with UMNO and BN in supporting the unity government today.”
Zahid said he was convinced that the “mistake” was made because of the uncertainties at the time, adding that he disclosed the matter during the special presidential briefing last night so that the delegates were aware of what was going on.
“We need to move forward. So, it is best that we use the episode as a lesson. The UMNO and BN Supreme Councils have decided and all movements must be made en bloc, as a team,” he commented.
“All 30 BN MPs, including the 10 are in support (of the unity government), I don’t think their actions were done vindictively. We need to move forward to chart the new political realities in the country.”
In a special briefing to the political bureaus of the party’s divisions before the start of UMNO’s general assembly last night, Zahid had identified the 10 MPs who had gone behind the coalition’s back by signing SDs in support of Muhyiddin after the 15th general election (GE15) had resulted in a hung Parliament.
After Zahid’s special briefing, UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zakarshi took to Facebook to announce that Zahid had promised the delegates he would carry out a “total clean-up” of the party to rid it of elements that could hinder its “new direction”.
Puad told FMT last night Zahid had revealed that six of the MPs were from UMNO – Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (Sembrong), Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad (Simpang Renggam), Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias (Jelebu), Datuk Isam Isa (Tampin), Datuk Adnan Abu Hassan (Kuala Pilah) and Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad (Lipis).
MCA’s Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (Ayer Hitam) and Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng (Tanjung Piai), MIC’s Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (Tapah) and PBRS’ Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup (Pensiangan) made up the other four MPs. – Jan 12, 2023
Main photo credit: Bernama