After Budget 2021 passed with slim majority, Kadir Jasin says Umno riding on Perikatan’s weakness

Datuk A Kadir Jasin said said Umno’s integrated goal is to bury Bersatu and block PAS. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali
Datuk A Kadir Jasin said said Umno’s integrated goal is to bury Bersatu and block PAS. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — Umno is riding high on the weak position of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition and is working to overtake it from within, Datuk A Kadir Jasin said today.

The former New Straits Times (NST) group editor-in-chief said that several Umno leaders who are faced with criminal trials in court, are playing to their advantage knowing well that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are in a desperate situation to stay afloat and in need of support from MPs.

“For Umno, what is important is to try to return to power through the 15th general election. For that, it needs to curb the influence of Bersatu and PAS by being nice to them, but at the same time sabotaging them.

“Umno’s integrated goal is to bury Bersatu and block PAS. With Muhyiddin, Umno already knows its strengths and weaknesses, as well as what else can be blackmailed. With Anwar not knowing as yet,” Kadir said.

He added that Umno’s prospects however are dim if it continues to rely on its current “kleptocratic leadership”, pressuring its next leadership line-up, such as its deputy president, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

“So in that atmosphere, Muhyiddin remains a sacrificial goat served with various nutritious food, while waiting to be slaughtered. Or he himself is conspiring to seize Umno and return as the party’s number one boss,” Kadir added.

He said that a vote of no-confidence against Muhyiddin can only be done if it is consented by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun.

"If it fails, then PN remains a weak government and Muhyiddin as prime minister without legitimacy. Under such circumstances, the country's governance will continue to be weak and confidence in it, especially among foreign investors and international rating agencies, will continue to weaken. The economy will continue to shed blood and the people will suffer.

"But this is the situation which is desired by opponents of PN. Especially Umno. It is at the forefront in exploiting the PN government's weakness," he added.

Despite all the speculation and drama in the last few weeks, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government’s Budget 2021 was passed 111-108 in its third reading in the Dewan Rakyat on December 15.

Azhar announced the absence of one MP when the Opposition called for bloc voting. It is believed the missing lawmaker is Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah from Barisan Nasional (BN).

The Dewan Rakyat also passed the budgets for the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education earlier today. With this, the allocations for all 27 ministries have cleared the committee stage.

The Opposition had called for bloc voting on allocations for more than five ministries, including the Finance Ministry and Prime Minister’s Department, but failed to garner sufficient votes.  

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