AN Umno leader has lashed out at Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa for keeping mum over his deputy, Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara Kumar taking a long leave of absence to be with his family in New Zealand.
“Annuar didn’t even squeak about his deputy’s absence but when the issue became hot news, the former defended the latter.
“At the very least, when the issue became public knowledge, Santhara should have returned home,” said Umno supreme council member Datuk Puad Zarkashi, in a Facebook post.
Recently, Santhara came under hot soup after PKR MP P Prabakaran revealed that the former had left for New Zealand late last year, leaving his constituents in Segamat in a lurch following a flood situation there.
It was said that Pasar Sentul traders were also unable to get him for help, following a fire incident in December last year.
Subsequently, Santhara clarified that he had received approval from Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to got on a 55-day leave to visit his family in New Zealand and threatened to sue those who had slandered him.
Annuar should have advised Santhara
However, the Segamat MP’s clarification drew public anger and called out the double standard, as many locals were unable to meet their family members within the country itself due to the movement control order (MCO).
Santhara’s blunder also drew the attention of New Zealand’s Opposition MP Chris Bishop, who urged his Government to explain on how the deputy minister was allowed to travel in, despite a strict lockdown imposed there.
Hurling brickbats at his colleague, Puad said that Annuar should have advised his deputy on the matter instead of keeping mum about it for so long.
“Annuar just can’t stop defending Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) members. Both of them are not sensitive to the rakyat’s needs.
The former Deputy Education Minister added, “Now there is an earthquake in New Zealand, would Santhara return home?
“And I wonder if there is an earthquake in Segamat, would Santhara return to his constituency?”- March 7, 2021.