AMPANG: Economic Affairs Minister Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali has called for a halt to efforts that have politicised support for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Azmin said the focus should be on strengthening the economy for the benefit of the people, especially in light of the Covid-19 outbreak in China which has affected business sentiment.
Azmin said the outbreak had already affected the tourism industry with many tourists scrapping plans to visit Malaysia.
“If this situation continues it will have an impact on the Malaysian economy,” he said.
“There is so much politicking, stop it and support the prime minister in leading the country.”
His remarks were made in a speech at a constituency Chinese New Year dinner here, jointly organised by the Ampang parliamentary constituency and Azmin’s state assembly constituency of Bukit Antarabangsa.
Azmin, who is PKR deputy president, has often rallied support for Mahathir. Last October, he had urged Mahathir to remain as prime minister for a full term, a sentiment which has been adopted by PAS, which intends to table a Dewan Rakyat vote of confidence in Mahathir.
At a separate event today, a former aide to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim alleged that Azmin was the go-between who arranged meetings between PAS leaders and Dr Mahathir.
The PAS motion is viewed as an attempt to block Anwar’s ascent. Under an agreement struck before the 14th general election, Mahathir is supposed to hand over power to Anwar, his former protege, although no date was specified.
PKR treasurer William Leong has called for a “Plan B” to ensure Anwar becomes PM.
Leong, who is MP for Selayang, said current events showed that Mahathir had not changed his “dictatorial” ways although the people, including PKR members, had given Mahathir a chance to show that he is a changed person, especially in his refusal to set a date for the handover.
Zuraida takes dig at Leong for talking about the street
PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin took a thinly veiled jab at Leong and his remarks about taking to the streets.
Zuraida, who has been at odds with Anwar, said that in a democracy anyone could do what they wanted.
“But it’s sad to see that, though we have become the government, we still want to go to the streets. It looks like they still cannot behave like the government of the day,” she told reporters after the joint constituency Chinese New Year celebration which was also attended by Azmin.