The Umno supreme council’s decision for the party to retract support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will see him seeking a vote of confidence in the upcoming Parliament sitting, asserted a former attorney-general.
Mohamed Apandi Ali told Malaysiakini this morning that this was his reading on what may happen next, following the Umno supreme council’s decision earlier today to withdraw support for Muhyiddin.
Muhyiddin at one time was Umno deputy president. However, the Pagoh MP is now Bersatu president.
“During the coming parliamentary sitting, the prime minister will ask for a vote of confidence. If he wins, with the support of all the MPs who are in the cabinet, nothing will happen until the next general election.
“If the PM fails to garner support for the vote of confidence, he and the cabinet have to resign, and he has to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament.
“Upon dissolution of Parliament, the prime minister and the cabinet will remain as the caretaker government for a maximum period of 60 days. The general election must be held during that 60 days,” said Apandi.
“The national vaccination process also must be completed during the 60 days, so that it is conducive to hold a general election,” the former Umno member added.
Parliament is expected to reconvene on July 26 during the ongoing movement control order.
In the early hours of today, the Umno supreme council decided to withdraw the party’s support for Muhyiddin.
The decision came less than 12 hours after Muhyiddin announced that Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been appointed as his deputy.
In revealing the party’s decision, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Muhyiddin should step aside for an interim prime minister to take over his duties.
“Umno urges Muhyiddin to resign with honour, to allow a new prime minister to be appointed for a limited term,” he added in the 12.50am live broadcast.
The interim premier, he said, should only focus on the people’s welfare and remain in power until “herd immunity” against the Covid-19 virus is achieved.
Following this, a fresh general election should be held.
Meanwhile, Zahid, who was previously linked to attempts by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim to capture Putrajaya, also said Umno would not support any efforts to install the opposition leader as prime minister.
He said the decision to withdraw support for Muhyiddin was due to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government’s “failures” which included its inability to manage the pandemic and to fulfil the people’s aspirations.
In March, the Umno general assembly empowered Zahid and the supreme council to decide when the party should quit the PN government.
Zahid had said then that he was confident Umno ministers would relinquish their posts when a decision is made.
However, he did not mention if Ismail and the other Umno ministers would resign in his speech after the supreme council meeting.
It is believed that Ismail’s appointment is an attempt by Muhyiddin to placate Umno and buy his administration, which is holding on to power with a tenuous majority, more time.
It remains unclear if Umno’s 38 lawmakers would heed the supreme council’s call.
The majority of them are believed to be aligned to Ismail and Hishammuddin Hussein – who was promoted as senior minister yesterday.
With Padang Rengas MP Nazri Abdul Aziz supporting Muhyiddin again, Umno needs two MPs to revoke their support for Parliament to be hung and three MPs to rescind their backing for the prime minister to be in the minority.
The Umno supreme council convened at 8.30pm last night for a virtual meeting. The meeting dragged on to about 12.30am this morning. – Malaysiakini