October 18, 2022
KUALA LUMPUR – The caretaker Prime Minister and the Umno president, who many claimed were at loggerheads before the dissolution of Parliament, put on a show of solidarity for Barisan Nasional in Perak on the day the state’s legislative assembly was finally dissolved.
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said there was no rift between Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and himself.
“Both the president and I are united, but the Opposition wishes to see us apart and divide us, so it will benefit them,” he said.
On another matter, Ismail Sabri said he should have sacked the 12 Perikatan Nasional ministers who wrote to the King advising against the dissolution of Parliament.
He said he had brought up the issue to the Cabinet twice and they knew of his intention to dissolve Parliament.
“I am the one who made the decision. If they did not agree, I should have just terminated them. But I am not like that. I am a kind and gentle person. There is no need to ‘declare a war’,” he said.
Ismail Sabri was making a full-day visit to Perak, stopping, among others, in Bagan Datuk, where his party boss, Ahmad Zahid is the incumbent MP.
Also in the entourage was Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad, who had earlier announced the dissolution of the state assembly.
Also present was deputy MCA president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, who is also the state party chairman.
While the other Barisan-held states – Perlis and Pahang – had dissolved their assemblies earlier, Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah had consented to the dissolution only yesterday.
“We have been friends for a very long time,” said Ismail Sabri of Ahmad Zahid.
“I have known him since our school days, and I also know his wife since their courtship,” he said at the Solidarity, Stability and Prosperity programme at Bagan Datuk Umno Complex.
“We must be united to ensure a huge victory in the 15th General Election, and we need to stop the slanderous remarks, otherwise we will lose out.
“When outsiders talked about factions in Umno, both of us sat down and said we had to put an end to this,” he added.
Ahmad Zahid, the Barisan Nasional chairman, also said he had known Ismail Sabri since 1973.
“During my first year at Universiti Malaya, my roommate was Ismail Sabri’s brother (Kamarazaman Yaakob) and he (Ismail Sabri) was studying in a technical school every weekend. He used to come to visit his brother.
“What have I not done with him – I have hugged him, kissed his cheeks, the only thing I have not done is kiss his mouth, that is ‘geli’,” he said jokingly.
Ahmad Zahid also slammed the Opposition for harping on the fact that elections should not be called now due to the monsoon season.
He said that was no excuse because the Melaka state election was held in November too.
“When does it not rain in Malaysia? Taiping is the wettest town in the country. It rains daily,” he said.
“Does that mean elections should not be held there forever?”