PETALING JAYA: In announcing that the party had decided to withdraw its support for Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi listed the “seven deadly sins” by the government.
In a statement, he said the first reason was the government’s failure to address the Covid-19 pandemic effectively, adding that it had caused serious anxiety and depression among the rakyat.
“This includes inconsistent policies, half-cooked enforcement of the movement control order (MCO), and numerous changes until the rakyat have been locked up in vain for almost six months without proper care,” Zahid said.
“The total lockdown has seen the number of Covid-19 related deaths rise from 2,800 to more than 5,768 casualties in just 38 days after it was announced.”
Zahid claimed that the government had also abused the Emergency for “political maneuvering” to the detriment of the rakyat and the economy.
“And when we protested against the Emergency, the government did not listen to us,” he said.
Instead of the Emergency supposedly being used to help the rakyat, Zahid said it has instead turned out to burden them with various excessive and “double standard” compounds – on top of being forced to deal with their very survival.
The third reason Zahid listed was the government’s alleged failure to defend the system of parliamentary democracy, stating that this prevented the democratic practice of checks and balances.
Stressing that such measures guarantee that the rights and voice of the rakyat are defended, Zahid said this was especially crucial in monitoring government initiatives in dealing with the pandemic – which includes aspects of expenditure, revenue, and vaccination efforts.
The fourth reason Zahid noted was the government’s alleged failure to effectively manage aid for the rakyat at all levels and categories.
He broke it down as claims for a second blanket moratorium without accrued charges or interest; the i-Citra scheme under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) that was not people-friendly; and cash aid which according to Zahid, was late and limited.
“Many people had been left out or forced through burdensome bureaucracy to get this aid,” he said, referring to the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) and Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) schemes.
Zahid said Umno’s fifth issue with the government was its inability to provide the rakyat confidence and trust that their welfare was being taken care of, noting the recent rise in suicide cases and the white flag movement.
“(The) #BenderaPutih movement is an example of the manifestation of the rakyat’s frustrations and is a sign of their protest against the government’s failure to take care of their needs,” he added.
The Umno president described the government’s failure to manage political and economic stability, to the point that investors do not trust that the country can manage the pandemic, as the sixth reason – noting that Bloomberg’s recent Covid-19 Resilience Ranking puts the country 50th in the list of 53 economies.
Crucially, Zahid said the seventh reason was “the government’s clear failure to abide by the decree of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Malay Rulers” regarding the need to reconvene Parliament so as to debate the Emergency Ordinance and National Recovery Plan.
“Numerous media statements and decrees had to be issued…,” said Zahid.
“As the party which is the main bastion defending the institution of Malay Rulers as per Clause 3 of Umno’s Constitution, Umno cannot compromise on the rudeness the government had shown.
“Based on the seven items above, it is clear that the government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin failed to meet the guidelines set out by the Supreme Council on March 11 2020 as a condition of continued support.”