Umno supports initiatives to retain UG in GE16

UMNO will continue to support all initiatives to retain the unity government in the 16th general election (GE16) for the sake of political stability, economic development and national prosperity, its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

Even through there are 18 component parties under the unity government auspices, they all have the same objectives and need to continue to foster harmony to defend the political stability in the country, he added.

“GE16 is an election to translate how political stability, the unity of hearts and minds among these 18 parties can be defended.

“In my opinion, the present 152 MPs that represent more than two-thirds majority needs to be defended and the way to do so are many, and there are many approaches as well,” he told reporters at the Santunan Kasih Syawal in Putrajaya on Saturday.

He was asked to comment about PKR’s intention of retaining Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister for the upcoming term.

Ahmad Zahid noted that to develop the country, a vibrant economy was needed to provide job opportunities to the people, and that the salaries for such jobs should not be of minimum wage but set at a premium.

He also pointed out that the long-awaited salary adjustment for the civil service that will be announced soon would boost productivity and spur the economy, and expressed hope that the private sector would be inspired to follow the government’s lead by implementing similar adjustments.

“New job opportunities in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes will be created thanks to foreign investors in our country. So the source of this economic development is political stability and it needs to be defended,” he stressed.

Ahmad Zahid also downplayed any possibility that support from Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters for the unity government candidate in the upcoming Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election, Pang Sock Teo of DAP, would be negatively affected after unscrupulous parties used old videos of her disparaging BN, pointing out that it was an old issue.

“There are a lot of old videos, of such videos, of other parties as well, and there is a video of an Islamic party leader urging voters to support DAP, that can be rehashed as well.

“But the political reality is that things have changed. The political scenario has also changed and in my view, we should close the old chapter, and start a new journey instead,” he said during the event, in the presence of Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The unity government is made of 18 component parties in five political coalitions, Pakatan Harapan, BN, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and Parti Warisan. — Bernama