A senior Umno leader has revealed the deep divisions within the party which might result in some of its MPs causing the collapse of the Perikatan Nasional administration by withdrawing support in Parliament.
Speaking to FMT, the leader who declined to be named described Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub’s withdrawal of support for prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin as the “fall of the first domino”.
“He had no blessing from the Umno Supreme Council since the party has not instructed any of its MPs to pull out. But as usual, not everyone in the Supreme Council knows what on earth is going on. People are waiting for the president’s (Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) instructions but his silence is pretty indicative,” the party insider said.
The source said those in the party know which leader Ahmad Jazlan is aligned to, and alleged this faction, which includes party leaders facing trial, want to force the fall of the government before the Umno general assembly is held on Jan 31.
At the assembly, Umno is expected to make a decision on severing ties with PPBM, the party led by Muhyiddin.
The source said the fall of Muhyiddin’s government will not necessarily lead to fresh elections. A new prime minister could be chosen from among the current MPs instead.
Yesterday, Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz of Umno said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong could appoint a new prime minister as long as the person enjoyed majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.
Alternatively, Parliament could be dissolved and an interim prime minister appointed by the King until parliamentary elections are held.
“Umno’s leadership is divided on the morality of having elections now, and on the chances of us doing well if it happens now,” said the source.
The source added the faction pushing for the government’s fall are aware of the leadership’s skepticism and want to force its hands before the Umno AGM.
“They want to take that decision out of the collective leadership’s hands because sense might prevail by then (at the Umno AGM).”
Kelantan Umno chief Ahmad Jazlan’s withdrawal of support for Muhyiddin yesterday left only 111 MPs supporting the PN government in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat. Subsequently, Nazri told FMT more Umno MPs are expected to follow suit in withdrawing their support for the government.