No choice for Umno but PN

Umno realises that Muhyiddin still has other options, such as getting support from other parties, if Umno withdraws its support from PN govt

by FARA AISYAH / pic by TMR FILE

UMNO has no choice but to support the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government as Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin still commands the federal leadership, analysts said.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Kuala Lumpur senior lecturer (political study) Dr Mazlan Ali said Umno previously pressured Muhyiddin to dissolve the Parliament, while the PM wanted to impose emergency instead.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had rejected the emergency proposal and urged politicians to stop politicking.

“Umno has no choice but to obey the King’s decree. Umno also realised that Muhyiddin still has other options, such as getting support from other parties, if Umno withdraws its support from the government.

“At the same time, Pejuang’s (Parti Pejuang Tanah Air) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently met with Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah, so Umno realises that pressuring Muhyiddin will not benefit the party in any way,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

However, Mazlan does not deny the possibility of Umno reversing its support for PN as the party led by Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi currently has divided political views.

Last week, Umno convened two separate meetings amid speculations of its withdrawal from the PN Cabinet.

After the meeting last Thursday night, Ahmad Zahid said in a statement that the party had decided that a general election should be held once the Covid-19 pandemic is under control, to restore the people’s mandate.

“Umno is a party whose policies are always to prioritise the people’s agenda.

“As such, all Cabinet members representing Umno continue to remain in the government and are committed to look after the people’s welfare and defend the party’s dignity.”

Ahmad Zahid also said Umno will obey the King’s decree to govern the country based on the Constitution and not bring the country into an emergency.

Still, former Umno president Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak has openly suggested for cooperation with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, fuelling talks that the Malay-based party’s allegiance will not be permanent.

It has been reported that Umno is seeking the post of a deputy PM (DPM) to provide check and balance in the administration currently led by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

However, Malaysiakini reported that Muhyiddin has not met his Umno counterparts to discuss the matter.

Names such as Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob have been widely speculated to fill in the DPM post.

Meanwhile, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies deputy director Dr Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid said Muhyiddin still commands Parliament, as per Umno’s latest statement.

“The coalition will remain. If you do the calculation, PAS, Barisan Nasional and most Umno members are with Muhyiddin.

“Only those who are termed ‘court cluster’ are trying to do something to free themselves by collaborating with the Opposition,” she told TMR.

She said if some MPs are still thinking about power or still politicking despite the King’s statement, the public will view them as selfish.

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