Chief Secretary apologises for not inviting PH state chiefs to COVID-19 meeting

KUALA LUMPUR (March 18): Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali has apologised for not inviting the leaders of Pakatan Harapan-ruled states to attend the special coordination meeting to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak yesterday.

Mohd Zuki said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had ordered that all the menteri besar and chief ministers be invited without any exception.

As such, he apologised for causing confusion arising from inviting the menteri besar and chief ministers of only Perikatan Nasional-ruled states. For the other states (Penang, Kedah, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Sabah), only the state development directors were invited.

Mohd Zuki said the prime minister viewed this matter seriously and had expressed his clear commitment to cooperate with all state governments regardless of political party background in the matter of national importance.

Muhyiddin, added the chief secretary, has issued a directive that all menteri besar and chief ministers be invited to attend the special meetings addressing COVID-19 in the future.

The PH Secretarial Council had earlier issued a statement, saying that their respective state chiefs had not been invited to the special meeting yesterday.

“If it (the exclusion) was done only because they administer state governments not politically aligned with the current federal government, this shallow political action causes great loss to the people.

“It is common knowledge that the five states make up almost 40% of the Malaysian population, and the bulk of the COVID-19 cases also happened in these states,” the council said.

The council asked Putrajaya to immediately call for a meeting with their respective state chiefs for the well-being and the safety of people in these states.

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