Umno’s Puad accuses Perikatan of not being up to mark
THE Perikatan Nasional government has not lived up to expectations as it has made the same mistakes as the last government, said Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi.
“The economy is getting worse with foreign direct investment (FDI) at its lowest among Asean countries .
“PN has also continued to sell government assets just like Pakatan Harapan. Umno’s hopes for a better administration has not materialised,” the Supreme Council member told The Malaysian Insight.
More disappointing, said Puad, was losing South Korean carmaker Hyundai to Indonesia.
To top it off, Puad said, there are no more checks and balances in the country after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin used a state of emergency to stop Parliament from meeting.
“The executive today is too free and can do whatever it wants.
“While the public has questioned whether minister Rina Harun was right to use her office to model clothes, nobody can do anything to her as there is no Parliament or select committees to hold the government responsible.
“Are we to allow PN, which is only a minority government, to govern the country using emergency powers?” asked the former Batu Pahat MP.
While Puad could accept that the Muhyiddin government may have done “some good things”, he, however, said they are not good enough.
“The economic stimulus, for instance, was not comprehensive enough as it did not include the 11th or 12th Malaysia Plan. As such, there doesn’t seem to be any long-term economic plan to address the loss of FDI and jobs ever since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The only thing they are proud of is having three ministers wait at the airport for the Covid-19 vaccine,” said the former deputy education minister.
Puad said it was also bizarre for the government to reject Umno’s suggestion to allow Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) members to withdraw RM10,000 from their accounts without any condition during the Budget 2021 debate but implemented it later.
“Why didn’t they do it then?
“Is it to deny credit to Umno and waste everyone’s time by delaying it? They should have done this from the beginning,” said Puad.
Umno president Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former prime minister Najib Razak proposed allowing EPF members to withdraw up to RM10,000 from their accounts without conditions and extending the loan moratorium for all for six months.
And while the government gave some respite for B40 and small businesses by extending the loan moratorium, it did not pick up on Umno’s suggestion.
On February 11, the government U-turned on the EPF issue and said that the pension fund will remove all conditions for its i-Sinar facility.
The i-Sinar scheme allows EPF members to withdraw up to RM10,000 from their Account 1.
Workers in the formal sector, the self-employed and gig workers, those who have not contributed to the EPF for a period of time, have lost their jobs, housewives, or been subjected to unpaid leave are eligible for the facility.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT