AMID criticism for its continued support for Perikatan Nasional, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi offered an analogy of the function of a ship, its captain and the sailors manouvering the vessel.
“Why do we call for the Prime Minister’s resignation but stay in support of Perikatan? It’s like this. A ship sails according to its captain’s direction.
“If the captain fails to give proper direction, the ship will not reach its destination. Unfortunately, the captain is too egotistic to admit his failings. Therefore, the captain needs to be replaced with someone who is more capable.
“Similarly for a Government, it is led by a prime minister, who decides the way forward for the administration,” he said in a Facebook post.
Despite mounting various criticism against Perikatan since its inception in February last year, former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak surprised many quarters two days ago by saying that his party supported the coalition.
He added that Umno only wanted Prime Minister Tan Sri Mahiaddin Yassin’s resignation for his failure to contain COVID-19 and rejuvenate the ailing economy.
Mahiaddin’s critics upped the ante after his administration received a rare rebuke from Istana Negara, with the Agong voicing displeasure that the Emergency Ordinances (EO) were revoked without being debated at the Parliament and prior to His Majesty’s consent.
Take responsibility, Pagoh MP
Elaborating on that point, Zahid said that Mahiaddin should take responsibility over the current political mess, given his role as the leader of the Government.
Using points from academics, the former deputy prime minister said that Mahiaddin has the authority to select and dismiss ministers, together with the ministries involved.
“He has the power to call for Cabinet meetings and the prime minister is not subject to the latter’s advise.
“The prime minister decides on the administration’s direction and he can establish any Cabinet-level committees, or even outsiders to advise him.
“So, that is the reason why we need a capable person to help the prime minister’ post, someone who can steer the Government’s machinery with clear directives,” Zahid noted.
The Bagan Datuk MP added that on July 7, Umno had already decided to withdraw support from Mahiaddin and called for an immediate replacement for public’s sake and to protect the sanctity of the royal institution.
“Once COVID-19 is contained, then the new prime minister can advise the Agong on when to call for a general election,” Zahid remarked.