Umno cannot support failed government, says party leader

Mohd Farhan Darwis

Johor Umno deputy liaison chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed says Umno is disassociating itself from Perikatan Nasional because it does not wish to be blamed for the coalition's failure to govern the country. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 6, 2021.

UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has to cut the party’s ties with ruling coalition Perikatan Nasional as he does not want the party to be dragged down by a failed government, said a senior party leader.

Johor Umno deputy liaison chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the party president does not want Umno to be blamed for the Muhyiddin administration’s failure to govern the country.

“The people do not want Muhyiddin; Umno has to do something. Umno is not crazy for power; when Muhyiddin fails, Umno cannot stand with Muhyiddin,” said Nur Jazlan in defence of the party chief, who has come under criticism for collecting the sworn statements of Umno MPS declaring they no longer backed the PN government.

“The people’s anger at the government will indirectly affect Umno. Umno cannot support a failed government.”

The outspoken Umno leader is himself a constant critic of the Muhyiddin government. 

“We have tried (to support PN) but this government has adopted an extreme approach – emergency proclamation and so on.

“This time it’s because of Covid-19. Will another emergency order be used if there is another crisis? No other country has adopted an emergency and failed like this; the number of infections is getting worse, not getting better like in other countries.

“We also need to distance ourselves from the government because the people already think that the Covid-19 infection statistics and emergency were simply ploys to avoid Parliament and defend the failed government,” Nur Jazlan said.

The emergency did not only fail to curb Covid-19 infections, it also caused deaths from infection to rise to above 5,000, a virus death toll higher than China’s, he said.

He urged Muhyiddin to prove his majority in the coming parliamentary session.

Any Umno MP who disagrees with the party line can vote for Muhyiddin then, he said.

“Never mind how many Umno MPs are said to support Muhyiddin now, we will test that in Parliament… as it is now, the majority is only one, two MPs.

“Umno is not greedy for power, if the Agong and the Conference of Rulers order a full meeting and Muhyiddin disobeys, Umno cannot follow.”

The coalition government will collapse without the support of Umno, which holds 37 of the 222 parliamentary seats.

Some 30 members of the Umno Supreme Council are said to have signed statutory declarations last Friday to stop backing the PN government after August 1. 

Umno divided

Not everyone in Umno is happy about Zahid’s decision to cut ties with PN. Some Umno ministers in the PN cabinet have expressed views that the party should remain with PN, and not form any new alliances with PKR or DAP.

Analysts believe Zahid does not have receive the full support of the senior party leadership.

Ilham Center executive director Hisommuddin Bakar expects only about 10 Umno MPs to be in solidarity behind the president.

As it stands, media reports had stated that a total of 35 Umno MPs do not support Zahid, including 25 who were said to be with Sembrong MP Hishammuddin Hussein.

There is also a group of Umno MPs who allegedly support vice president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is a senior minister in Muhyiddin’s cabinet.

Hisomuddin said PN could still collapse if Zahid’s supporters withdrew even though the majority of Umno’s elected representatives were not with him.

“This is a clash between the party and the Umno MPs. Zahid has an advantage because he controls the party, but the group of MPs seem to be in favor of those who reject Zahid.

“Umno is the king maker in the government, the power deciding whether this government is safe or not, lies with Umno.

“If Umno decides to withdraw, Muhyiddin will fall,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

This is because Muhyiddin was only enjoying a super slim majority in Parliament.

“Umno does not have to decide whether to withdraw or not, but if six of Zahid’s supporters do not support the government, then the government will fall as well,” Hisommuddin said.

lose-lose situation

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) political analyst Mazlan Ali meanwhile said no party would benefit from Umno’s internal clashes.

He said this was because Umno was no longer as dominant as before following the Barisan Nasional’s defeat in the last general election.

“We see that two groups in Umno are at war.

“One group believes that they need to withdraw so that the space for political realignment can be opened, that is Zahid’s group, and another group of PN supporters who want to wait until the 15th general election.

“Whoever wins will achieve a Pyrrhic victory,” said Mazlan.

This is because Umno will still not be able to govern without political allies, he said.

“Umno will not go anywhere in the end, Umno is not dominant like before, they need allies, whether PN or PH (Pakatan Harapan),” he said.

However, the situation still threatens Muhyiddin’s position and he expects the embattled prime minister to explore new avenues of negotiations either with Pejuang or Warisan.

“Muhyiddin is threatened, it is possible that he feels shaky because some Umno groups want to withdraw from the government.

“Unless Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Warisan support Muhyiddin, he will be safe. This is the third group,” Mazlan added.

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  • DUMNO doesn't support a failed gomen, well and good to safe it's own bloody skin but it does support it's leaders who a corrupted which is even worst then a failed gomen. It's very clear what dumno are made of.

    Posted 3 years ago by Teruna Kelana · Reply

  • While they fight among themselves, PH is gaining ground with the angry and disappointed voters. UMNO is no longer a party that follows its leader. Its a big messy party now. They have forgotten what their grassroots want because they are too busy fighting to stay relevant. Self preservation is more important now for the MPs.They are openly defying their President. Basically the party has lost all its respect amongst their grassroots and the rakyat. They are getting weaker and weaker by the day..this will be their downfall.

    Posted 3 years ago by Elyse Gim · Reply