PM to meet Zuraida before Cabinet meeting
PETALING JAYA: After weeks of speculation, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is expected to meet with Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin on Wednesday (June 22) morning.
The meeting between the Prime Minister and the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister is expected to take place before the Cabinet meeting, according to Sinar Harian.
The Ampang MP’s position in the Cabinet has been a question mark since she left Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), which is a member of the ruling coalition, Perikatan Nasional.
Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has laid claim to Zuraida’s ministerial seat as its party’s quota, saying it was part of the deal between Ismail Sabri and Perikatan leadership.
The Prime Minister had said earlier that Zuraida remains a minister and would be carrying out her duties as normal, until he makes a decision.
In a statement on May 26, Zuraida announced that she was leaving Bersatu to join Parti Bangsa Malaysia and would be relinquishing her post as a minister.
Before joining Bersatu, Zuraida was the PKR vice-president but was sacked along with several other MPs who brought down the Pakatan Harapan government through the Sheraton Move. ANN
Zuraida denies 1-on-1 with PM today
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin has refuted news reports claiming that she was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob today.
Zuraida told Malaysiakini that she attended the cabinet meeting today as scheduled and nothing more.
“I have not gotten the appointment yet,” said Zuraida in a curt reply to Malaysiakini today.
This morning, Sinar Harian and Berita Harian reported that Zuraida was supposed to meet Ismail Sabri before the cabinet meeting.
Both reports did not cite any sources.
Zuraida’s tenure in Ismail Sabri’s cabinet has been in question since her departure from Bersatu last month.
She has since joined Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) and is set to become its leader.
Bersatu, as a component of Ismail Sabri’s coalition government, has laid claims to Zuraida’s cabinet position.
However, nearly a month after Zuraida’s departure from Bersatu, Ismail Sabri has not indicated that a reshuffle was on the cards.
PBM has three MPs and they all back Ismail Sabri as prime minister. MKINI
‘It’s a mess’: PM’s silence on Zuraida signals his weakness – Nur Jazlan
He labelled the delay as a “mess” and claimed that the prime minister was being “held to ransom” by certain factions.
“It is just a mess and reflects his weak position. He is unable to make decisions or assert his authority because he is being held to ransom by certain quarters.
“The fact that he is dragging his feet shows that he could be buying time.
He said this while commenting on Ismail Sabri’s silence on whether the former Bersatu MP would be swapped for another Bersatu MP or if he would allow her to remain at her post until the next general election.
The former Pulai MP lamented that it was hardly a situation that involved disposing of an indispensable minister, given that many other MPs were equally capable of leading the ministry.
When asked if he felt that Ismail Sabri was potentially worried about the loss of support from three PBM MPs, Nur Jazlan replied that anything was possible when the premier was in a weak position.
A withdrawal of the three PBM MPs could impact the voting on bills at the next Parliament meeting – which is set for July.
Yesterday, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin called on the prime minister to hasten his decision on Zuraida’s cabinet post.
He said that Ismail Sabri was free to retain the plantations and commodities minister, so long as Bersatu’s ministerial quota remained.
Muhyiddin noted that it had been two weeks since Zuraida announced her departure from Bersatu to PBM and he is still waiting to meet Ismail Sabri to discuss her replacement.
Muhyiddin added that he has prepared the name of Zuraida’s replacement but has not submitted it to Ismail Sabri.
On June 19, Zuraida had indicated her hopes that she would be retained in the cabinet in order to ensure continuity in the programmes planned by the ministry.
Zuraida announced her decision to leave Bersatu and join PBM in May, saying she would discuss her resignation as a minister with the prime minister. MKINI
ANN / MKINI