All Umno Supreme Council members agreed to withdraw support for the current government but they did not agree to do so now, according to Supreme Council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, who has broken ranks with the party president.
Tajuddin has confirmed as “authentic” a video recording circulating on social media which shows him to be in disagreement with party leaders.
In the almost 15-minute recording, he questioned if Umno’s move to withdraw support for the government was being done at the “right timing”.
Tajuddin told FMT that he had made the speech during last week’s Supreme Council meeting.
“I didn’t want to make it public because that is what was said at the meeting. Someone recorded it and made it public. Since it has gone public, I confirm it is authentic,” he said.
In the video, Tajuddin can be heard telling Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that he had been supporting the latter all this while but “this time, I beg to differ.”
On the general assembly’s decision
He said this was because the decision made during the party general assembly in March was different from the one being made now.
He said the decision then was to reject DAP, PKR and Bersatu.
“The mandate was for the president and Supreme Council members to decide on the date to withdraw from the government.
“We agreed to withdraw. Who did not agree to withdraw? All agreed. Umno Supreme Council members agreed. Umno MPs agreed,” he said.
But Tajuddin said they did not agree to withdraw “now”.
“A lot of people are saying the timing is not right,” he said, adding that there were some who felt the timing was right.
Not ready for general election
Tajuddin further said the decision of Umno general assembly was to pull out from the government and not just to withdraw support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as announced recently.
“Now it is different. Is this an afterthought? This is a tactical move as pulling out of the government is not workable. Not feasible. This is manipulating the decision made during the general assembly,” he said.
He further warned that the party was not ready to go for a general election. “Do you know the status of our constituency? Are you ready to face the elections? I am telling you, you need one more year to strengthen your election machinery,” said Tajuddin, who is MP for Pasir Salak.
He said Umno members were talking about “party, party, party but work is not being done.”
Tajuddin further said that even if Umno pulls out from the government, Bersatu may get support from DAP, which “may not join the government but will support, giving votes to the prime minister”.
On wrong decisions by Umno
Tajuddin also raised the issue of the economic and health crisis. “Someone said just now if we fail after taking over, it will be worse,” adding that many wrong decisions had been made.
For instance, he said joining Perikatan Nasional was a mistake and “Muafakat Nasional that was set up (with PAS) was not nurtured. That was a mistake. We want to work with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim – that was a mistake.”
He said he would no longer blindly follow the decisions made by the party and urged the party to wait for the “right timing” to withdraw from the government.
He also said most Supreme Council members did not congratulate Ismail Sabri Yaakob for his appointment as deputy prime minister.
“Should we ignore the good wishes from Umno division chiefs. They are happy. We are not happy.”
He said the present government does not belong to Muhyiddin but to Ismail who has a chance to show that Umno works for the rakyat.
He further asked the party to be patient for another six months or so for a general election to be held and to win the polls by strengthening the election machinery.