The Umno Supreme Council is expected to make a decision on whether it will withdraw its support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government at a meeting tonight, Utusan Malaysia reported today.
According to the report, tonight’s meeting has been called to resolve disagreements over the matter among the party leadership.
The decision tonight will determine the direction of the party that is currently a component party that supports the PN coalition up until today.
The meeting is also believed to be response to the 14 day period given by the government to reconvene Parliament in the nearest time.
“Whether they want to or not, Umno has to decide tomorrow (today). For sure it will discuss the direction of the party and the PN government whether Umno will remain or leave,” the Malay daily quoted a source.
According to the source, the decision that is expected to be made will be more inclined towards achieving unity as Umno party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is seen as trying to prevent a split within the party.
The decision will also take into account the views of MPs who are more inclined to stay with the PN government until the election is held.
“Zahid called the MPs yesterday because he wanted to know their stand.
“Then their stand will be taken to the Supreme Council meeting, so it will be up to them to decide,” the source said.
It was reported yesterday that a group of Umno MPs were present at a meeting at the Wisma Perwira Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, to focus on the issue of whether or not the party will leave the PN government.
It is however understood that there was a disagreement among the MPs who were present at the meeting.
Zahid was with the view that it is time for Umno to leave the government, while a portion of the MPs led by Umno’s Bera MP Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob did not agree with the view.
That view (to leave the PN government) was agreed to by Umno’s Kuala Krau MP Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamad Said, Tanjong Karang MP Tan Seri Noh Omar and Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.
“Noh Omar viewed that now is not the time to pull out as Parliament has yet to resume.
“Tajuddin on the other hand said before this we have done all sorts but it never succeeded. Previously there were things we did not agree with the president, but we still followed, all kinds of problems arose,” said the source.
The source was reported saying Umno’s Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hisahmmuddin Hussein, although he was present at the meeting, did not say anything throughout the meeting.
According to the report, previously Zahid had called all Supreme Council members to sign an agreement to state that Umno will not leave the government in the near future.
It is understood that the majority of the Supreme Council supported the agreement, which reflects that they were contradicting the Umno MPs’ stand.
So if tonight Umno decides to act against the Umno MPs, a split within the party is expected to occur involving 16 Umno MPs who are also part of the Supreme Council.
Among the 16 MPs, are Cabinet ministers and senior ministers.
Apart from this, the source said that Zahid had admitted the audio of his conversation with Anwar as legitimate.
“Apart from the discussion regarding withdrawal of support, he (Zahid) admitted that it was his voice in the audio who had a conversation with Anwar which was made viral long ago. Zahid is believed to have said that it was Anwar who called him,” the source said.
The source added that during the meeting, those who were present had urged Zahid to support one of them to be appointed as deputy prime minister.
It is understood that the appointment has been voiced to the Prime Minister and was hopeful that Zahid and the Umno Supreme Council will endorse the appointment made among the existing Umno MPs.
A call was also made to request for the Prime Minister to add another ministerial portfolio for Umno.