Tok Mat says Umno sidelined in Cabinet, warns of split

(FMT) – Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan tonight added to the chorus of complaints over the new Cabinet, lamenting that the party, which has the largest bloc of MPs, has been “unfairly” sidelined, and warned it could lead to schism.

Mohamad, better known Tok Mat, said Umno’s MPs were not given “critical portfolios”, which was not equitable considering the number of MPs it contributed to Perikatan Nasional, and their collective experience.

The ruling coalition comprises Barisan Nasional, PAS, PPBM and several MPs aligned to former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali.

“Secondly, the make-up of the Cabinet greatly favours the PPBM bloc and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali,” he said in a Facebook post.

Mohamad said it is important for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to take note of a party’s representation in a government especially in the current political climate, pointing out that a united Cabinet will be able focus on administering the country.

This is especially so when the nation is facing various challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty.

“We don’t have the time and space to be at loggerheads or make mistakes,” he said.

Mohamad said an inclusive and strong Cabinet is vital to PN’s success and if political experience is cast aside, it could lead to the coalition’s failure.

“Without a strong Cabinet, Malaysia will continue to witness endless political polemics which could hinder development,” he said.

Two days ago, former law minister Azalina Othman Said said Umno should have been given more senior posts in the Cabinet, explaining there should be “proportionate representation” in a coalition government.

She said her party should have been given “more significant” portfolios such as that of the home, finance, women, family and community development, rural development, and agriculture and agro-based ministries.

The PN government currently has 69 ministers and deputy ministers, considerably larger than the previous Pakatan Harapan’s combined total of 50.

Umno holds nine portfolios to PPBM’s 11, while MCA and MIC hold one each to make up Barisan Nasional’s total of 11 ministers.