KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has shot back at Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin — who recently questioned if voters would trust a Zahid-led Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general election (GE15).
Muhyiddin had taken Zahid to task for allegedly ignoring issues raised by former Commander of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar in the government's procurement of the six Littoral Combatant Ships (LCS).
In a Facebook posting earlier today, Zahid claimed that he had already given his side of the LCS story to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in October last year.
Zahid then turned the table back at Muhyiddin and his PN coalition, questioning if they really managed to steer the country out of the health and economic crisis — as claimed by Muhyiddin.
He shared that while PN was the government of the day, the national debt grew by 46 per cent and the government's debt limit had been raised from 55 per cent to 65 per cent.
The BN chairman also said that Malaysia's GDP growth and total foreign investments also fell among the lowest, with the Malaysian stock market plunging to one of its worst performance ever, and dividends for the people falling sharply as compared to pre-GE14.
He also said that Petronas' cash reserves were also surrendered within the last four years, including the time when he was a member of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.
"Is it true that PN gives priority towards defending the people's fate in order to save the lives and livelihoods of Malaysians due to the Covid-19 pandemic?" he asked.
Zahid also reminded Muhyiddin why Umno had withdrawn its support for him as prime minister, listing several reasons, among them being PN's failure to effectively deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, abuse of an Emergency Ordinance and failing to defend parliamentary democracy.
He also reminded Muhyiddin of his unwillingness to allow EPF withdrawals to help people cope with living in a pandemic — which Umno and BN were pushing for — and how he "lifted his own basket" and claimed glory when it was finally implemented.
"God willing, when BN returns as the government, we will find the most effective way to help the people recover the amount of savings that have been withdrawn for urgent needs.
"Over 17,500 cases of bankruptcy have been reported since 2020. Malays were the most involved in bankruptcy cases at 10,267 and followed by Chinese (4,447), others (1,516) and Indians (1,321)," he said.
Last week, Public Accounts Committee chairman Wong Kah Woh said the Defence Ministry and Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS) had ignored the navy’s views on the design of the ships.
He also said not a single ship had been completed although Putrajaya had spent RM6 billion on the project, which was given to BNS via direct negotiations.
He added that the navy should have received five of the ships by August this year.
Muhyiddin urged the government to set up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate the matter.
He is the latest to make the call, following similar calls by Umno Youth, Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan and DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang.