We aren’t just passengers in new govt, Umno veep reminds PN

Former Johor menteri besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin says Umno represents the largest group of Malay interests.

PETALING JAYA: Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin says the party had demanded a fair share of positions in Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Cabinet line-up.

He reminded the PPBM president that he would not have been able to form a new government without the support of Umno and PAS.

“Therefore, Umno is not just a passenger in Perikatan Nasional,” he said in a statement today.

He was commenting on a statement by former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad that Muhyiddin would be defeated in the Dewan Rakyat if a motion of no confidence is called if Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was not given a position in the Cabinet.

The ruling coalition comprises Barisan Nasional, PAS, PPBM and several MPs aligned to former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali.

Khaled further said Umno is not a “subordinate” to PPBM or Muhyiddin and is aware of its contribution in forming the new government.

“We represent the largest group of Malay interests, and not Azmin’s bloc or anyone else.

“Do not forget that almost 35% of PPBM MPs won on Umno’s ticket in GE14.

“The rest are those who have jumped ship to get positions,” said Khalid, who was Johor menteri besar from 2013 to 2018.

He reminded PPBM that it only won 13 seats in GE14 while Umno and PAS obtained 70% of the Malay popular vote, adding that Umno was aware of its standing in the Malay political arena.

Without mentioning names, he claimed that some individuals involved in “past scandals” were still protected and given a place in the Cabinet.

Khaled further asked Hamid if it was morally right for 10 supporters from Azmin’s bloc to disrespect the mandate given by the people and shift their support to Perikatan Nasional.

“Others in PPBM did the same. They contested on the Umno ticket but then opted out.”

Khaled said Umno is only carrying out its moral duty as a political party to have a strategic representation and look after the interests of the Malays.

Yesterday, Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan had added to the chorus of complaints about the new Cabinet, lamenting that the party, which has the largest number of MPs, had been “unfairly” sidelined, and warned that this could lead to schisms.

Mohamad said Umno’s MPs were not given “critical portfolios” despite the large number of MPs it was contributing to PN, and their collective experience.

He said the make-up of the Cabinet greatly favours PPBM and Azmin’s bloc.

Earlier, former law minister Azalina Othman Said also said Umno should have been given more senior posts in the Cabinet.

She said Umno should have got “significant” posts in the home; finance; women, family and community development; rural development; and agriculture and agro-based ministries.