More Umno leaders express unhappiness over Cabinet appointments

Mohamed Hasan and Khaled Nordin

By John Isaac

UMNO deputy president, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has joined the chorus of party leaders unhappy over the recent appointments to the new Cabinet.

The Cabinet line-up was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday.

Mohamad said Umno had the most number of MPs in parliament and was being unfairly sidelined.

In a statement on his Facebook, the former Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar said he appointments did not reflect the number of MPs Umno had in parliament and their levels of experience.

“Also, the Cabinet composition benefits the Bersatu bloc and Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

“While it is not in the best interests of Umno to hold government positions in the current political climate, it is important for Muhyiddin to take into account the size of the party’s representation in the government based on those  arguments,” he said.

Mohamad also added that if the Cabinet does not follow past political practices, it could make the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government fragile which could lead to failure.

“It is clear that Umno, as the biggest bloc of MPs, has been sidelined,” he said.

Another Umno leader who echoed Mohamad’s sentiments was Umno vice-president, Datuk Khaled Nordin who told former chief justice (CJ) Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad his party only signed on to the coalition to prevent a worsening of the political crisis triggered after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned.

“Without Umno and PAS, Muhyiddin wouldn’t have formed the government. Hence, Umno is a joint-founder of Perikatan Nasional and not a passenger.

“As such, Umno feels it is only proper to receive fairness through its demand for ‘proportionate’ (representation in the Cabinet),” he said in a statement.

Last week, the former CJ said Muhyiddin must keep Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and others facing criminal charges out of his Cabinet.

Several other Umno MPs, including Datuk Seri Azalina Othman (Pengerang), Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (Pasir Salak) and Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (Kinabatangan) had voiced their disappointment since Monday.

Writing on his personal blog, Khaled warned that Muhyiddin would lose a no-confidence motion in Parliament if he caved to pressure and allowed tainted leaders into his administration.

“When 10 of the ministers are from Azmin’s bloc who did not respect the people’s mandate and traded on their positions as federal lawmakers for posts, is that moral in the eyes of Tun Hamid?” he said.

Khaled also pointed out that many Bersatu ministers were in fact those who won in the general election on Umno’s ticket but later defected to the offshoot party.

“Umno is only doing its moral duty as a political party by demanding strategic representation in return for its contributions and taking into account its ability and experience in preserving the interests of the Malay community,” he added.