Umno veteran Shahrir Samad has sarcastically thanked deputy prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob for his announcement that 31 Barisan Nasional MPs are still backing the government.
Shahrir said Ismail’s announcement helped confirm that the government had lost its majority support, with only 31 out of 42 BN MPs supporting Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.
The former Johor Bahru MP said this meant that the Perikatan Nasional government, which was said to have a majority of 115 seats previously, only had the support of 104 MPs.
“In the end, all they have done is publicly confirm that the PN government has 104 MPs at the moment, subject to, of course, others who might jump over (from the opposition).
“They will need seven more MPs to jump over just to get a simple majority. But what kind of government is it going to be? Can they perform? They can’t because their leader is weak.
“Their announcement doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t see the quality of leadership there,” he told FMT.
Shahrir also said a motion of confidence must be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat immediately through a special sitting, to put an end to this uncertainty over the government’s majority support.
At a press conference joined by 18 other MPs, Ismail announced that a total of 31 BN MPs would continue supporting the government.
The Umno vice-president said this was in line with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s wishes as His Majesty had consented to a confidence vote in September.
A total of 21 MPs were present today, with the remaining 10 pledging their support in absentia.
This left a total of 11 Umno MPs who are still toeing the party line.
The 21 who were present at the press conference:
- Mahdzir Khalid (Padang Terap)
- Shahidan Kassim (Arau)
- Idris Jusoh (Besut)
- Noh Omar (Tanjong Karang)
- Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (Pasir Salak)
- Hasan Ariffin (Rompin)
- Abdul Azeez Rahim (Baling)
- Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Bera)
- Annuar Musa (Ketereh)
- Halimah Sadique (Kota Tinggi)
- Ismail Mohd Said (Kuala Krau)
- Abdul Rahman Mohd (Lipis)
- Ismail Mutalib (Maran)
- Shahar Abdullah (Payar Besar)
- Mastura Mohd Yazid (Kuala Kangsar)
- Ahmad Hamzah (Jasin)
- Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (Padang Rengas)
- Jalaluddin Alias (Jelebu)
- Salim Sharif (Jempol)
- Wee Ka Siong (Ayer Hitam)
- M Saravanan (Tapah)
Ismail Sabri read out the names of 10 other MPs who were absent, some of them because of ministerial duties.
- Khairy Jamaluddin (Rembau)
- Reezal Merican Naina Merican (Kepala Batas)
- Dr Adham Baba (Tenggara)
- Hishammuddin Hussein (Sembrong)
- Mohamad Alamin (Kimanis)
- Nizar Zakaria (Parit)
- Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (Putrajaya)
- Arthur Joseph Kurup (Pensiangan)
- Zahidi Zainul Abidin (Padang Besar)
- Wee Jeck Seng (Tanjung Piai)
On where Parit Sulong MP Noraini Ahmad, who is the higher education minister and Umno Wanita chief, stood, Ismail Sabri said she could not be reached.
The announcement came after Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called for the party’s lawmakers to retract their support for the current government and prime minister.
Earlier today, it was reported that Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani has called for disciplinary action to be taken against party MPs who have not withdrawn support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Perikatan Nasional government.