Umno gets Supreme Council support to leave Perikatan before August 1

Party sources say Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been collecting signatures for a motion to leave the Perikatan Nasional government during meetings. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 2, 2021.

MORE than 30 Umno Supreme Council members have signed a motion authorising the party to leave the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government before August 1, according to sources.

Umno leadership has been calling up its Supreme Council members to get them to ink a motion to withdraw from the government, which it wanted to table at its next Supreme Council meeting.

Party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had been collating their consent during meetings at the party’s headquarters attended by deputy president Mohamad Hasan and secretary-general Ahmad Maslan.

The Umno Supreme Council is comprised of 47 members; 25 of whom are elected members.

The party has 37 members in the 222-seat Parliament and its withdrawal of support will result in the collapse of the PN government.

The move to end ties comes amid an ultimatum by the party’s political bureau on June 21 demanding that Parliament convene within 14 days.

Ahmad Zahid had said failure for Parliament to convene would be an insult to the monarchy.

He said the government must respect the orders of the Agong and the Conference of Rulers to call for Parliament as soon as possible.

“As such, the government shouldn’t attempt to delay holding a Parliament session by reinterpreting what the royal personages said last week.

“In the end, the Agong and the Conference of Rulers have agreed on the same issue,” Zahid said in a statement.

The Agong, after meeting political leaders and the rulers last week, had decreed that Parliament must convene as soon as possible.

The government appears reluctant to obey the royal decree, with de facto law and parliamentary affairs minister Takiyuddin Hassan saying the royal statement did not specify when the house should sit.

The Conference of Rulers issued a similar statement, which also stated there was no need to extend the state of emergency when it ends on August 1.

Parliamentary sittings, state legislative assemblies and elections are suspended under the emergency, prompting criticism of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for dodging checks and balances.

In February, the king had decreed that Parliament should meet even during a state of emergency.

The emergency that was enforced on January 11 to effectively fight the pandemic is to end on August 1. – July 2, 2021.

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