Umno, Cabinet unaware of PM-PN agreement

The said agreement was never brought up or discussed in any Umno Supreme Council meetings

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic BERNAMA

UMNO and the Cabinet does not have any knowledge of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) allegedly signed between Perikatan Nasional (PN) leaders and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob before the formation of the new government in August last year.

According to a report by Utusan Malaysia, the agreement included the post of deputy prime minister (PM), which will be handed over to the MP designated by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, a component party of the PN coalition.

Speaking to Utusan Malaysia, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the matter was never brought up, let alone discussed in the Umno Supreme Council meeting, and he only read it after yesterday.

However, he said, the question of the appointment of the deputy PM and Cabinet members was Ismail Sabri’s prerogative as PM and did not need to be discussed within the party.

“However, Umno sees the date of the dissolution of the 14th Parliament, contained in the agreement, should be held no later than July 2022, or any date agreed should be discussed immediately in the party’s top five leadership, Supreme Council and Barisan Nasional.

“This is not what I said, but the document clearly mentions the date of the parliamentary session,” he said.

Recently, the agreement document that was allegedly signed between Muhyiddin and Ismail Sabri, dated August 17, 2021, when the Umno VP agreed to be appointed as the PM, went viral on social media.

In fact, the agreement also states that the newly appointed PM must also give an undertaking to hold talks and reach an understanding with the parties before determining the date of dissolution of the 14th Parliament, to be held no later than July 2022 or any mutually agreed date.

When asked whether the agreement was against the party, Ahmad declined to comment on the matter and once again clarified the appointment of the Cabinet under the PM’s jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin also admitted that he was not aware of the agreement, which was allegedly signed before the formation of the government in August last year.

He added that his party only knew of one agreement, namely the MoU between the government and Pakatan Harapan, and that the matter was disclosed to the public, including within Umno itself.

He saw the agreement to appoint a deputy PM as inappropriate for the time being as the term of office of the 14th Parliament have only 10 months left.

“So why (do they) appoint a deputy PM because the general election (GE) is nearby?

“But if we want to make a new agreement, we in the Supreme Council have decided that there is no new agreement except to expedite the GE and this decision was also agreed upon by the Umno delegates themselves,” he said.

Meanwhile, Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Mohd Razlan Rafii described the dissemination of the document as a backstab against the government led by Ismail Sabri and, at the same time, had other intentions against Umno.

He stressed that Umno and the PM did not need to entertain Bersatu’s demands, which he said were seen to have their own agenda.

“We also do not know the authenticity of the document, whether it is true or not, but the fact is that it is to worsen unity within Umno itself.”

Separately, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who witnessed the agreement, declined to comment on the matter.

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