Noraini Ahmad today became the second minister from Umno to resign from the Cabinet, following pressure from party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The higher education minister said she would abide by the Umno Supreme Council directive to revoke her support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
“The decision of the party will be implemented when Parliament convenes. I believe we have done our best to manage the country in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected lives around the world.
“I will continue with such efforts even though I am no longer a federal minister,” said the Parit Sulong MP.
Noraini’s resignation follows that of Shamsul Anuar Nasarah who stepped down as the energy and natural resources minister, citing his loyalty to Umno.
Earlier, MalaysiaNow reported that Zahid had issued an ultimatum to Noraini, who is also the party’s women’s chief, to quit the Cabinet or be sacked from Umno.
“Noraini cried when she was given the ultimatum. She loves the party but at the same time, as a member of the government administration, she knows that now is not the right time to continue politicking.
“She might accede to Zahid,” the source said.
Even before the ultimatum, Noraini was believed to be among the 11 MPs from Umno whom Zahid said had agreed to revoke their support for Muhyiddin.
Thirty-one from Barisan Nasional, led by Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, had earlier said they would remain with the government until its legitimacy is decided in Parliament.
They included ministers Dr Adham Baba, Hishammuddin Hussein, Khairy Jamaluddin and Reezal Merican Naina Merican, who were not present at the press conference but had stated their support for the group.
Umno had given its MPs until Aug 7 to state in writing whether they would continue to support the Perikatan Nasional administration or withdraw their support and resign from their positions in government.
This came after Zahid said on Tuesday that he had enough SDs from Umno MPs to topple Muhyiddin as prime minister.
However Muhyiddin said following an audience with the Agong the next day that he still commands the majority support in Parliament.
He also said that his position as prime minister would be determined through a vote of confidence at the Dewan Rakyat sitting in September.