Malaysia: UMNO withdraws support for Muhyiddin

  • UMNO has withdrawn support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin effective immediately, party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said after midnight.
  • He said the UMNO Supreme Council agreed to the decision in an online meeting that went on for almost four hours.
  • “The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Muhyiddin has failed. It failed to fulfil all the guidelines presented by the Supreme Council on 11 Mar 20. That was the pre-agreement for UMNO to continue its support towards Muhyiddin’s government.
  • “Therefore, the period given to lend our support to Muhyiddin as the prime minister is over and is withdrawn effective immediately,” Zahid said during a press conference aired lived on UMNO’s social media.
  • UMNO has 38 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, while four seats are held by its other Barisan Nasional component parties; MCA has two seats while MIC and PBRS have one seat each.
  • Under Muhyiddin’s administration, UMNO lawmakers helm nine ministerial and eight deputy ministerial posts. The decision is said to have split the party.
  • Zahid’s decision to withdraw its support comes just hours after the Prime Minister’s Office announced the appointment of UMNO vice-president and Senior Minister (Defence) Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the deputy prime minister, while Hishammuddin Hussein, the foreign affairs minister was elevated to senior minister (security cluster), which was Ismail’s post prior to this.
  • Zahid said a new prime minister should be appointed until the country tackles the Covid-19 pandemic and achieves herd immunity through vaccination.
  • “The new prime minister’s term should only focus on efforts in helping the welfare of the people throughout the pandemic, tackling Covid-19 with an inclusive approach and ensuring the process of vaccination and immunisation can be expedited.
  • “Having successfully reached the level of group immunisation, the new prime minister must immediately advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to hand over the mandate to the people to hold the 15th General Elections,” he said.
  • Zahid, however, did not propose anyone to be the next prime minister but reaffirmed the party’s stance, decided at the UMNO general assembly this year, that it would never support any attempts to nominate opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as the prime minister nor support the Pakatan Harapan coalition that includes DAP, to be the interim government.

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