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Monday, November 20, 2023

I’m training Hamzah for the future, says Muhyiddin


Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin (left) said although he thinks that Hamzah Zainudin is doing well as opposition leader, there is still room for improvement.

KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin has denied that the coalition is weak because he is not the opposition leader, a position held by Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin since December.

Muhyiddin, the Bersatu president, said while he could easily have a “monopoly” on such posts, he was looking to the future and wanted to train Hamzah, who he described as a fresh face.

“For me, this is not a sign of weakness,” he told FMT when responding to criticisms by Umno veteran Shahrir Samad, who said Bersatu would not have been in turmoil had Muhyiddin assumed the role of opposition leader.

Shahrir’s comment was made in response to the decision by four Bersatu MPs to back Anwar Ibrahim’s government.

Muhyiddin revealed that before Hamzah’s appointment as opposition leader, he had offered the post to PAS as it had the highest number of MPs (43).

He said he had told PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to nominate a candidate, but PAS declined.

“And I thought that since I was once leader of the government, the opportunity of opposition leader should be given to Hamzah as the PN and Bersatu secretary-general.

“I don’t want to monopolise everything,” he said, referring to party posts. “I am known as a former prime minister, so parliamentary duties should be given to a younger person.”

Muhyiddin said although he thought that Hamzah was performing well in his role, there was still room for improvement. “It’s because he’s new.”

Traditionally, the post of the opposition leader is assumed by the head of a party or coalition.

Anwar was the opposition leader when Pakatan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan were the opposition.

However, Barisan Nasional broke from tradition when it appointed Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the opposition leader in 2018 to replace Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who went on garden leave following his court cases and internal conflict in the party. - FMT

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