Sorry, my mistake, says chief-sec over Covid-19 slip-up

Mohd Zuki Ali says he had mistakenly left out five opposition states when inviting menteris besar and chief ministers to a meeting with the prime minister to discuss the Covid-19 crisis.

PETALING JAYA: Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali has apologised for not inviting the heads of state governments under Pakatan Harapan to a top-level meeting to discuss the Covid-19 crisis.

Zuki said the mistake was his, saying there was no instruction from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin not to invite menteris besar and chief ministers from Kedah, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Penang.

“The prime minister looks at this issue seriously and has taken a clear stand to cooperate with all state governments, without taking into account their political background,” said Zuki.

He said all ministers and chief ministers will be invited to attend special meetings to address the Covid-19 situation in future.

Pakatan Harapan leaders had earlier expressed disappointment after five states not under Perikatan Nasional rule were excluded from a special meeting chaired by the prime minister to coordinate enforcement over the restricted movement order coming into force from tomorrow until March 31.

Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, in a statement, had said Muhyiddin had intentionally not invited PH chief ministers and menteris besar to attend 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.