Saying Cabinet virtually unchanged, Faizal Azumu fears #kerajaangagal critics possibly within the fold

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Youth and Sports minister Datuk Seri Faizal Azumu speaks during a media conference at Wisma OCM in Kuala Lumpur September 14,2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Youth and Sports minister Datuk Seri Faizal Azumu speaks during a media conference at Wisma OCM in Kuala Lumpur September 14,2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Critics who removed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister using the “kerajaan gagal (failed government)” movement could now try to pressure his successor, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, according to Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

In an interview with Mingguan Malaysia, the Bersatu deputy president noted that this was because the administrations of both men were nearly identical save for two ministers.

Noting that criticism against the government has gone silent despite the return of most ministers under Ismail Sabri, Ahmad Faizal said he wondered whether the movement originated from the Opposition or from the parties in power.

“Suddenly the campaign or slogan ‘failed government’ as before has stopped. Even though from my observation, the new Cabinet line-up consisted of myself, PAS representative Idris Ahmad and two other Umno ministers that were not in Muhyiddin’s Cabinet, but were former Cabinet members and former ministers before.

“So, (the difference was) only two people but suddenly we don’t hear ‘failed government’ anymore. So, who actually started the ‘failed government’ campaign? Is it the Opposition or those among us (government)?

“So, I’m worried that the possibility that those who toppled Tan Sri Muhyiddin will influence the prime minister (Ismail Sabri) in his decision-making,” he said in the interview with the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia.

Faizal is currently the minister of youth and sports, while Idris is the minister in the prime minister’s department for religious affairs. Both are new faces to the federal administration under Ismail Sabri.

The other two new Umno ministers are Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Entrepreneur Development Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.

In the interview, Faizal said the new government will still need bipartisan support to maintain stability, either through a binding confidence-supply agreement (CSA) or other means.

He also questioned why the Opposition was now agreeable to a CSA when they had been against a virtually identical offer from Muhyiddin.

“So what is the point of toppling Muhyiddin if the outcome is the same?

“What is important for a government is the outcome and right now the outcome is the same. So I don’t see any benefits to this agreement in this matter,” he said.

On public backlash on his salary during his short tenure as special advisor to Muhyiddin, Faizal said he will donate the RM27,000 to the country’s Covid-19 fund.

“Whatever it is, I’m thankful for all the admonition by netizens and I agree with them because I have not given the appropriate service and so forth, but was given RM27,000 salary plus prorate,” he said, further apologising on the matter.

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