Netizens poked fun at deputy prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob today after he claimed that 31 Barisan Nasional MPs support the Perikatan Nasional-led government.
They wondered if Muhyiddin Yassin had lost his majority support because even with the number provided by Ismail, the prime minister would still not have enough backing in Parliament.
“He (Ismail) called a press conference to announce that 31 of the 42 BN MPs support Perikatan Nasional, but it has backfired,” said @farhanzulkefly on Twitter.
“If 31 (BN MPs) support (Muhyiddin), that means 10 don’t. The 10 who don’t support (him), combined with the 105 (opposition) MPs, it’s 115 and enough to topple the prime minister. What’s your point, Ismail?”
There are 42 BN MPs according to the Parliament website – 38 from Umno, two from MCA and one each from MIC and PBRS.
Another netizen, @ameen7006, said Ismail had indirectly revealed that the PN government had lost its parliamentary majority but was “holding onto power” until September, when Muhyiddin said MPs would decide on a vote of confidence.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that!” he said.
User @ShazGhaF “thanked” Ismail for showing that PN had lost its majority with the support of only 31 BN MPs, while @mandeepkarpall mirrored the comments that said Ismail’s announcement only confirmed that Muhyiddin had lost his support.
User @bongkersz said Ismail had just “openly admitted and confirmed that only 31 BN MPs were still supporting Muhyiddin and PN”.
“Why haven’t the Umno president and Supreme Council fired Ismail and the other Umno MPs for going against the party?” he asked.
On Tuesday, Umno announced that it had decided to withdraw support for the PN-led government, barely a month after it officially retracted support for Muhyiddin as the prime minister.
The move leaves the PN government, which is heavily dependent on Umno’s support, in limbo.
At a press conference, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Muhyiddin must take responsibility for the failures under his leadership by stepping down. He said he should also resign for refusing to heed the King’s call to debate the emergency ordinances.
Twitter user @Nenene369 said today’s announcement by Ismail “might mark the downfall” of Umno as Zahid was seemingly powerless to take action against the MPs who defied the party’s stand and pledged their support for the government.
“Zahid can’t fire all of them (Umno MPs) as they will join Bersatu and Umno will become a small party,” said @Nenene369.
“If Zahid makes a U-turn and supports PN, then he would have lost the confidence of his base and might lose his post at the next party elections.”