Former Chief Justice Who Supports The New Govt Says Zahid Hamidi Should Not Be In Cabinet

He said that if the UMNO president is appointed, the rakyat might adopt a "to hell with it" attitude.

Cover image via Malaysiakini

Malaysia has just stepped out of a political crisis that left the country without a government during the last week of February.

On 1 March, a new Prime Minister was sworn in under a new coalition which has several politicians who are going through corruption trials.

One such politician is UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid, who is the six-term Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bagan Datok constituency in Perak, is currently facing a total of 87 corruption charges in two separate trials.

A day after the formation of the new coalition government, Perikatan Nasional (PN), Zahid's trial involving the first 47 charges was allowed to be postponed for a day under the pretext that the Bagon Datok MP had to discuss the formation of a new Cabinet with newly-appointed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Zahid's reason for seeking the postponement of his trial on 2 March proved to be a lie when the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) issued a statement contradicting what was said in the High Court and clarifying that Prime Minister Muhyiddin was not scheduled to meet any politician on Monday.

While the postponement had raised concerns that Zahid's ongoing corruption trial would be dropped, the UMNO president apologised for what the High Court judge accepted as a miscommunication.

Zahid Hamidi at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex ahead of the trial on 3 March.

Image via New Straits Times

The UMNO president is said to have been instrumental in the formation of PN to overthrow the Pakatan Harapan coalition

Zahid has reportedly said that it was "his mission" which has succeeded after Bersatu president Muhyiddin was announced by Istana Negara to be the eighth Prime Minister of the country.

"I want to say my mission is accomplished," he said as he walked out of Muhyiddin's house on Saturday.

Zahid Hamidi and Muhyiddin Yassin are seen together along with other leaders of the PN coalition.

Image via Malaysiakini

Now as there are talks about the potential line-up of a new Cabinet, which has yet to be formed, a former chief justice, who supports PN, has warned against giving Zahid a ministerial post

According to former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad, newly-appointed Prime Minister Muhyiddin should not compromise on corruption and power abuse even if UMNO — a key party in the PN coalition — threatens to withdraw support.

"If UMNO insists on Zahid being a minister or deputy prime minister by threatening to leave PN, let UMNO withdraw (from the government). Let PN fall," he said in his blog post titled, 'My message to the PN government: Even if you last only a day, do what is right.'

"UMNO will be criticised by the Malays and let them (UMNO) die without funeral rites."

While highlighting the issue, he warned that Prime Minister Muhyiddin will lose a vote of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat if he gives Zahid any ministerial post.

"If he (Ahmad Zahid) is given a ministerial position, let alone the deputy prime minister post, I have to say, Tan Sri Muhyiddin will lose the vote of no confidence and the PN government will fall."

Not only that, the people who support the PN government, including me, will withdraw their support and remain neutral.

Former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad.

Image via New Straits Times

Additionally, he cautioned that if the UMNO president is appointed, the rakyat might adopt a "mampus pi lah" (to hell with it) attitude

Abdul Hamid said that the PN coalition should not appoint any MPs who are currently facing corruption charges in court to hold any positions in the Cabinet.

According to him, PM Muhyiddin and component party leaders should stand their ground on this matter, noting that it is better to fall when doing something right rather than doing something wrong.

In his maiden address as the eighth Prime Minister, Muhyiddin said that he is aware that the people want a government that's clean

He pledged that the new Cabinet will comprise of clean individuals with calibre. He promised that the new government will continue to fight corruption and increase administrative integrity.

While inviting Malaysians in rebuilding the country and restoring Malaysia back to its glory days, the Prime Minister said that with his 40 years of experience in the governance of the country, he is committed to putting his "heart and soul" into the development of the country.

Meanwhile, the Dewan Rakyat meeting that was initially scheduled for 9 March has now been delayed for more than two months:

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