The 25 Umno MPs who signed statutory declarations (SDs) electing Hishammuddin Hussein as their spokesman will not support Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s efforts to topple the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, party veteran Nazri Aziz says.
Nazri, the Padang Rengas MP, said he and his fellow MPs were aware of the move by Zahid and several of his allies to “force” Umno MPs into signing SDs to withdraw their support for the PN administration by Aug 1.
“As far as I know, I and my fellow MPs, the 25 of us will not sign,” he told MalaysiaNow.
Nazri said it was because of Zahid’s move that he and the 24 others had chosen Hishammuddin to explain their position to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“Among the 25 of us, we took note that Zahid wanted to obtain the signatures of MPs. That is why we prepared by giving Hishammuddin the mandate to speak on our behalf,” he said.
MalaysiaNow understands that since Thursday, Umno has been calling its MPs in stages to acquire their pledge to leave the PN government en masse before Aug 1.
More than 10 MPs who are members of the party’s highest decision-making body, the Supreme Council, have also been called to meet with Zahid and his deputy, Mohamad Hasan, as well as Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan at the Umno headquarters.
The move is at odds with the decision reached at the party’s general assembly in March for Umno to remain with the PN government until the 15th general election (GE15).
Umno won 54 parliamentary seats at the last general election on May 9, 2018. However, 15 of its MPs later jumped ship to Bersatu.
Of the 39 remaining MPs, 25 chose Hishammuddin as their spokesman, leaving Zahid with only 14 including himself.
Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Nazri said he had re-established his support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the PN government until GE15.
“I have retracted my announcement in January withdrawing my support for PN,” he said.
“Now I support Muhyiddin and his administration until GE15, as was decided at the Umno general assembly in March.”
Nazri previously told MalaysiaNow that he was tricked by Zahid into withdrawing his support for PN, adding that the move had been orchestrated by the Umno president.
“He (Zahid) was the one who planned it. After that he himself did not retract his support,” he said.
“He lied. Otherwise why would I want to withdraw my support for no reason? I honestly feel I was tricked.”