No need to fire us, we can resign, Latiff tells PM

Latiff said Ismail had “never asked for a mandate” from the Cabinet regarding the dissolution date.

(FMT) – Caretaker special functions minister Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad has hit out at Ismail Sabri Yaakob for stating that he should have sacked all the 12 ministers from Perikatan Nasional (PN) who sent a letter to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong objecting to the dissolution of Parliament.

“Of course, we know the prime minister has the power to ‘hire and fire’, but we have our dignity, too. There’s no need to fire us, we can resign on our own,” said Bersatu’s Latiff.

“We are still members of a caretaker Cabinet, it’s not too late to fire us. Maybe the 9th prime minister can create history by firing his Cabinet in ‘injury time’,” he added in a statement.

On Monday, Ismail, who is the caretaker prime minister, said he made a “mistake” by not firing the 12 PN ministers who signed off on the letter to the King.

However, the Umno vice-president said he did not do so as he was a “nice and a gentle person”.

Ismail, who was speaking during a Barisan Nasional rally in Bagan Datuk, Perak, said he had informed the Cabinet twice about his plan to dissolve Parliament.

In response, Latiff said Ismail had “never asked for a mandate” from the Cabinet regarding the dissolution date.

“If he had stated his intent to dissolve Parliament in a transparent and sincere manner, I’m confident the Cabinet members would have agreed and given him the mandate,” he said.

He also claimed that Ismail did not directly respond to a senior minister’s query on Oct 7 as to the date of Parliament’s dissolution. Parliament was dissolved on Oct 10 with the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

On Oct 6, it was reported that the 12 PN ministers wrote to the King to express their opposition to dissolving Parliament, stating that the year-end floods and the country’s economic recovery efforts were reasons to hold GE15 next year.

A week later, Ismail said he did not blame the PN ministers for signing off on the letter as they were just following PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin’s orders.