Thursday, July 29, 2021

Umno MPs, ministers reject move to quit govt in blow to Zahid, Najib

Ministers and other MPs say Umno quitting the government in the middle of the battle against Covid-19 is out of the question.

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Umno MPs today rejected a proposal that the party quit the government, in a blow to its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi following the expiry of a deadline he had issued to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin last month, MalaysiaNow has learnt.

It is understood that MPs including Cabinet members from Umno had met with Zahid, and were told to state their agreement to his proposal that Umno quit the government by Wednesday.

“All except Najib Razak and another MP disagreed with the move,” said a source who related what transpired at the meeting to MalaysiaNow.

Another source said the other MP was Ahmad Maslan, the Umno secretary-general, although MalaysiaNow could not immediately confirm the claim.

MalaysiaNow earlier reported that Zahid had fixed July 7 as the last day for Umno to be in the government, as part of a series of attempts to dislodge Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin from power.

It was also reported that the Umno chief had informed the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during a royal audience last month that all ministers, deputy ministers and heads of GLCs from Umno had pledged to quit their posts by Aug 1.

Checks by MalaysiaNow however revealed that there was no such pledge from them, “whether written or verbal”.

Meanwhile, a source privy to the meeting today said Zahid had wanted to meet the ministers and deputy ministers from Umno individually in order to find out if they agreed to his move.

“But they insisted on meeting the president together, saying there could be threats made if the meetings were one-to-one,” the source added.

During the meeting, several MPs argued that Umno would be running away from its responsibilities if it quit the government in the middle of the battle against Covid-19.

“They told Zahid that it makes no sense and that it would be out of the question (to quit the government at this stage),” said the source.

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