Padang Rengas MP Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz today withdrew his support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
In a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today, the former BN secretary-general also claimed that Muhyiddin's earlier declaration of a state of emergency was an "admission of defeat" and showed that he no longer enjoyed majority support.
"I have considered this decision for a long time, and I made it because it is the best for my party," he said, adding that the decision was based on the mandate given by the Padang Rengas Umno division, as well as the Umno supreme council.
Nazri is the second Umno MP to retract his support for the Perikatan Nasional government led by Muhyiddin, after Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub did so last week. Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has yet to officially spurn Muhyiddin, but the Umno veteran has previously rejected backing the 2021 budget presented by the Perikatan government.
According to Nazri, two or three other Umno MPs are expected to follow suit in withdrawing support for Muhyiddin, who is also Bersatu president.
At the press conference today, Nazri said it was logical for Muhyiddin to impose an emergency as he knew that he had lost majority support of the Dewan Rakyat, with only 109 MPs behind him. According to the Federal Constitution, a prime minister has to command the support of at least 112 out of 222 lawmakers.
Nazri cited the many complaints from Umno grassroots over the way Umno had been treated by the Bersatu-led government as a contributing factor for his decision.
He said a motion to sever ties with Bersatu was to be presented at the Umno annual general assembly, which was supposed to have been held on Jan 31. But now that the assembly cannot be held due to the emergency declaration, Nazri said he had to make the announcement today.
Nazri further lambasted certain Umno ministers who prioritize their own interests, ahead of the party's.
"This is what happens when they don't follow the party. I understand as I have served as a minister before and it was good.
"It is clear that the Umno ministers and deputies who do not want to follow the party's stance in cooperating with Bersatu, are doing it because they don't want to lose their fat pay cheques."
Although Nazri did not mention names, it is believed to allude to Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa, who was recently removed as BN secretary-general for not being in line with the party's stance against Bersatu.
Umno has been pressuring the Perikatan Nasional government to call for a snap election since the new year, but the latter has stalled, citing the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier today, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah consented to the declaration of a state of emergency to stem the tide of COVID-19 infections in the country. The emergency could last until August 1, or end sooner, depending on the COVID-19 situation.
In a televised address, Muhyiddin has assured that the emergency is not a military coup, nor would there be curfew involved.
Source: Astro Awani, Malay Mail
Photo source: Astro Awani
Tue Jan 12 2021
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