PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan leaders have expressed disappointment after five states not under Perikatan Nasional rule were excluded from a special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to coordinate enforcement over the restricted movement order beginning tomorrow.
Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, in a statement, said Muhyiddin had intentionally not invited PH chief ministers and menteris besar to the special meeting to address issues on Covid-19.
“Are the people of Kedah, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang and Sabah not eligible to receive any protection from the outbreak just because of politics?”
Mukhriz added that just three weeks ago all these states were governed by a party that was in line with Putrajaya.
“Is it necessary for the rakyat of these states to be treated this way just because of the changed political situation at the federal level?” he asked.
Sabah is under Warisan, which has shown its support for ex-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The disappointment over the exclusion came after Muhyiddin’s Facebook post today on the coordination meeting attended by chief ministers and menteris besar.
Photographs from the meeting were also posted on his Facebook, which showed the presence of Cabinet members, including International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, chief secretary to the government Zuki Ali, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg and several deputy ministers.
In a tweet, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari expressed regret for not being included in the meeting, stating his state had the highest number of Covid-19 cases so far.
“This clearly goes against the state’s openness in engaging with all parties, including the federal government,” Amirudin said in his tweet.
Mukhriz then responded to Amirudin, stating: “Kedah was also not invited. Maybe there are no Covid-19 cases in Kedah.”
The PH secretariat, in a statement, also condemned Putrajaya’s move to exclude the five states from today’s meeting.
“If the exclusion is only because these states are not politically aligned with the federal government, then this narrow partisan act will only jeopardise the rakyat,” the secretariat said.
It said it was public knowledge that the five states had almost 40% of Malaysia’s population and a large number of Covid-19 cases had been recorded there, adding that there will be a failure to contain the Covid-19 outbreak without the participation of all states.
Due to this, the secretariat urged Putrajaya to immediately convene a meeting with the five chief ministers and menteris besar for the safety of all citizens in the states.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said Malaysia had recorded its first two deaths from Covid-19 and 120 new cases today, bringing the total to 673 cases.
Stay united to fight Covid-19 threat, urges Najib
Meanwhile, former prime minister Najib Razak, in a Facebook post, said during any crisis, it was crucial for all Malaysians to come together and be united.
He said no state should be seen as pro-government or as an opposition state when Malaysian lives were at stake.
“We put our differences aside. We are one. We are united. We plan our future against any threat together,” he said.
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