Umno has been checkmated, says Puad Zarkashi

“This is a move to checkmate Umno, before this Umno was checked by the state of emergency.”

(FMT) – An Umno leader has been quick to slam the appointment of Ismail Sabri Yaakob as deputy prime minister, saying Ismail must abide by the party’s stand and reject the post.

Speaking to FMT, Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi said he saw Ismail’s appointment not as a way to help the people but to shore up Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is facing the prospect of Umno pulling the plug on his administration.

“This is a move to checkmate Umno, before this Umno was checked by the state of emergency.

“If he wanted to appoint Ismail as his deputy, it should have been done when the government was formed, not now, hours before the Umno Supreme Council meeting to decide on withdrawing support for the government,” he said.

Puad said the Supreme Council, the party’s highest decision-making body, had already decided last year against demanding or accepting a deputy prime minister’s post.

Puad also asked why Ismail’s appointment had not been discussed with Umno’s leadership.

“This is a move to divide us. Ismail has to abide by the party’s stand or refer to the party first because the decision against accepting or asking for the DPM’s post is a decision of the Supreme Council.”

Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that Ismail has been appointed deputy prime minister while foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein has been appointed a senior minister.

Hishammuddin will take over the security portfolio previously led by Ismail. Their appointments are effective immediately.

Meanwhile, MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon welcomed the appointments, saying it would further “consolidate and strengthen” the federal government.