PUTRAJAYA: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia strongmen Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Rashid Hasnon are not leaving the party, says Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin.

The Bersatu president said rumours claiming this were baseless.

“If that is the case, why doesn’t everyone else leave the party? As far as I know, these claims are untrue.

“During the Hari Raya celebrations with them this year, there were also no talk of this,” he told a press conference after chairing the 6th National Recovery Council (NRC) meeting here yesterday.

Muhyddin also questioned why there were those always targeting Bersatu.

“Why are they worried about us when we are just a small party?” he said.

His remarks came after rumours surfaced recently that Azmin and Rashid were leaving the party.

On Plantations Industry and Commodity Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin’s position in the Cabinet, Muhyiddin said he had already contacted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the matter.

“The Prime Minister informed me that he will meet me after he meets with Zuraida.

“Our stance, however, is that her position in the Cabinet was due to her being a Bersatu member,” he said, however noting that the final decision still lay with the Prime Minister.

Muhyddin said that when the time comes, Bersatu would suggest someone suitable to replace Zuraida, adding that the date of his meeting with the Prime Minister was still being finalised.

On May 26, Zuraida – who is also Ampang MP – announced she had resigned from Bersatu and would be joining Parti Bangsa Malaysia.

Separately, Muhyiddin – who is also the NRC chairman – said the economic recovery of the country was ongoing.

“Our latest economic indicators have shown positive developments with a 5% growth in Malaysia’s gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2022.

“The country’s retrenchment rate also dropped to 3.9% in April, the lowest it has been since Covid-19 struck two years ago,” he said.

He added that these signs reflected how the steps taken by the government throughout the pandemic had borne fruit, referring to the eight assistance and economic stimulus packages worth RM530bil.

Muhyiddin also said Malaysia was ranked 39th in the Global Food Index in 2021, an improvement of nine places compared with the previous year.

“This was through efforts by the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry, which intervened to enhance national food security,” he said.

Muhyiddin, however, acknowledged that this was still far from Malaysia’s target of making it into the top 10 of the index and that more measures should be taken to produce food locally.

“This is also in line with the pressing need to empower local food industries to achieve self-sufficiency,” he said.