KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Umno youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh today apologised to Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) for his statement on political appointees today.
Akmal said he wants to move forward from the episode and work together with all the youth parties in the unity government from now on, in line with the unity government’s new slogan of ‘Bangkit Bersama’ or Rise Together.
“I would like to take this opportunity today to apologise to my Amanah friends for my comments on the GLC appointments recently,” Akmal said during today’s National Unity Government Convention at the World Trade Centre.
Akmal was sharing the stage with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Kelvin Yii, Warisan’s Mohd Ismail Ayob and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) youth chief Jonnybone Kurum where they promised to put aside their differences to work together.
Several days ago, Akmal called out Amanah president Mat Sabu asking him to revoke the appointments of the heads of five main agencies under his agriculture and food security ministry.
He said the appointments were against the principles of the coalition government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said they were also against the reformist stance championed by Anwar, who had opposed the practice of political appointments to statutory bodies and government-linked companies.
Today, Akmal said that since they were in the unity government they had a duty to stop bickering and work together to solve issues such as the ailing economy, lack of investments and to also reject religious extremism.
He said that many had criticised the unity government calling them a forced marriage. However, he said he preferred an arranged marriage to one that was adulterine.
“Most of them didn’t know each other before marriage, it was arranged but they stuck with one another. I’d rather have such a relationship than one with a decade of love but in the end, they both cheat on each other. What’s the point then?
“We need to stick together with three things at the forefront of our struggles which are respect for one another, understanding each other’s differences and enriching ourselves with each other’s culture,” he said to rapturous applause.
“Our duty is to build the nation with better politics and a better approach and this can be achieved with understanding and tolerance,” he added.
The National Unity Convention is being held to foster unity among the various parties in the unity government. It is held today at the World Trade Centre with Anwar expected to give his speech later this afternoon.