Don’t play up PM’s presence at Malay Dignity Congress, says minister

Waytha Moorthy also thanked Dr Mahathir for deciding to retain him as a Cabinet minister today. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Waytha Moorthy also thanked Dr Mahathir for deciding to retain him as a Cabinet minister today. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 3 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy today said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s intended attendance at the Malay Dignity Congress this Sunday should not be played up as an issue.

Waytha Moorthy, who holds the National Unity and Social Wellbeing portfolio, said that as head of state, Dr Mahathir only wished to speak to the Malay community, and that was not a problem.

“That’s perfectly fine, no problem for the prime minister to attend the congress,” he told reporters after launching the Rukun Negara Appreciation Programme here today.

Earlier, several party leaders from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition described Dr Mahathir’s decision to participate in the congress as inappropriate, as he was the prime minister for all Malaysians.

The congress is being organised by four public universities, namely the University of Malaya (UM), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam, and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is also reported to be attending.

Meanwhile, Waytha Moorthy thanked Dr Mahathir over the decision to keep him on as Cabinet minister following the recent conclusion of an inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Stating that the prime minister would know better of the reason behind his decision, Waytha Moorthy said: “My appointment is based on the prime minister’s discretion and the prime minister has spoken, so I do not need to elaborate.

“Amid calls from several quarters for Waytha Moorthy to be axed, Dr Mahathir today said the latter would remain a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

In January, Dr Mahathir was reported to have said he would make a decision on Waytha Moorthy’s position as minister after receiving a full report on Muhammad Adib’s death following demands that he be fired.

The Coroner’s Court in Shah Alam ruled on September 27, that the death of Muhammad Adib, who was seriously injured in a riot at the site of the Sri Maha Mariammam Temple in USJ 25, Subang Jaya, Selangor, on November 27 last year, was the result of crimes committed by more than two or three individuals who were unknown.

Muhammad Adib, who was a member of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Station’s Emergency Medical Rescue Services(EMRS) unit, succumbed to his injuries on December 17.

On the outcome of Muhammad Adib’s inquest, Waytha Moorthy said he was satisfied with and accepted the verdict. — Bernama

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