Only 5 Umno MPs against Muhyiddin, not the rest, say sources 

Noor Azam Shairi Diyana Ibrahim

Sources say it is at least five and not eight Umno MPs who have withdrawn support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, as some of these are among the Barisan Nasional lawmakers who have expressed support for Perikatan Nasional and Muhyiddin. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 5, 2021.

ONLY five Umno federal lawmakers have stuck to withdrawing their support for Muhyiddin Yassin, as the other three have also signed support letters for embattled Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, sources said.

Their assertion came before Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi released a statement yesterday that more letters withdrawing support for Muhyiddin and the Perikatan Nasional government was sent to the king. 

Muhyiddin revealed yesterday that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong told him that eight Umno lawmakers had informed the Dewan Rakyat that they had withdrawn support for the prime minister.

But The Malaysian Insight learnt four of the eight Umno lawmakers were also among Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs who last week pledged support for the PN government.

“This means, PN has lost the support of five MPs only. These are these four and Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah,” said a source, referring to the announcement by the Gua Musang MP who asked to change seats to the independent block in the Dewan Rakyat, last week.

Padang Besar MP Zahidi Zainul Abidin confirmed that four of the Umno MPs who were said to have revoked their support for Muhyiddin were also actually supporting PN.

“Four of the eight MPs (mentioned by the Agong) actually support PN but there is an overlap as they signed two declaration letters,” he said.

The Malaysian Insight is not naming these MPs pending their confirmation and details of their statutory declarations.

Last Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said 40 BN MPs have expressed support for the PN government following calls by the opposition for Muhyiddin’s resignation.

This came after the Muhyiddin administration was rebuked by the Agong on the repeal of the emergency ordinances.

The support statement came in an official BN letterhead but its authenticity was denied by BN office bearers who were also Umno leaders aligned to Zahid.

Ismail later said the media statement was authentic and its content correct.

At least three BN MPs also confirmed Ismail’s statement that almost 40 of them threw their support behind the PN government.

Enough numbers

Zahid dropped the bombshell on Tuesday when he announced his party has presented evidence to the king to show that a number of its MPs have withdrawn support for Muhyiddin.

Zahid went on to say Muhyiddin had lost his legitimacy to remain as the prime minister and should resign.

While he did not state the numbers, it was widely reported to be 11 lawmakers. Yesterday morning Muhyiddin said it was only eight, as per what the Agong informed him.

Reacting to this development, Muhyiddin said yesterday that he would test his popularity at the next Parliament session in September.

Meanwhile, federal constitutional expert Assoc Prof Dr Wan Ahmad Fauzi Wan Husain said t Agong will have a valid reason to call up MPs to confirm their support if there are overlapping letters of support.

“If there are overlapping support letters, then facing the Agong is the best choice in authenticating the support letters.”

A similar situation took place in February 2020 after the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government when Agong took it upon himself to see which leader enjoyed the support of the majority in Parliament.

However, Fauzi said such a decision by Agong was unnecessary for now as the ruler has approved Muhyiddin’s proposal to test his legitimacy as prime minister in Parliament in September. – August 5, 2021.

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