Sunday, July 3, 2022

Resign or be sacked, Zahid turns up the heat on Wanita Umno chief ahead of deadline

Noraini Ahmad is expected to issue a statement today ahead of the cut-off point tomorrow for Umno MPs to state their stand.

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Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has issued an ultimatum to women’s chief Noraini Ahmad to resign as a minister in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Cabinet today or be sacked from the party, MalaysiaNow has learnt.

A source said Noraini, who is the higher education minister, had previously refused to follow in the footsteps of Shamsul Anuar Nasarah who resigned as water, land and natural resources minister on Tuesday.

“Resign or you will be sacked,” the source told MalaysiaNow on condition of anonymnity, referring to Zahid’s words to Noraini.

“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.”

MalaysiaNow understands that Noraini will issue a statement later today.

“She might accede to Zahid,” the source said.

Umno has given its MPs until Aug 7 to state in writing whether they will continue to support the PN administration or withdraw their support and resign from their positions in government.

On Tuesday, Zahid said he had enough statutory declarations from Umno MPs to topple Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.

He said these and others would be submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Shamsul, the MP for Lenggong in Perak, had announced his resignation from the Cabinet shortly before Zahid’s press conference.

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.

He said his proposal had received the consent of Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

Zahid and opposition parties from Pakatan Harapan, Pejuang, Warisan and Muda however have urged the government to hold a parliamentary sitting as soon as possible to test Muhyiddin’s support.

MalaysiaNow previously revealed an audio clip of a conversation between Zahid and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim in the aftermath of the Umno general assembly in March.

In the conversation, Anwar had praised Zahid for his handling of the assembly and the attacks on the PN government.

Anwar had also praised Shamsul for saying after the assembly that he was ready to step down from his Cabinet position.

Both Zahid and Anwar had initially denied the conversation.

However, Zahid later admitted to the authenticity of the clip in a meeting of the Umno Supreme Council.

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