Umno deputy minister breaks ranks, backs Muhyiddin

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Umno’s Maran MP Ismail Abd Muttalib has broken ranks with the party leadership, stating his support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

In a letter to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong posted on his Facebook page, Ismail, the deputy housing and local government minister cited his responsibility and duty to race, religion, and the country as the reasons for his decision.

“As a federal deputy minister, I will continue to carry out my duties and serve with integrity and efficiency for the sake of the people, race, religion, and our country.”

In his letter, the four-term MP also vowed to continue to defend the monarchy.

Previously, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi instructed the party’s MPs to withdraw support for Muhyiddin in the wake of the emergency ordinances fiasco. Yesterday, he said the party had withdrawn support for the Perikatan Nasional-led government.

Ismail’s statement comes amid renewed doubts over Muhyiddin’s majority in Parliament.

Earlier today, Zahid revealed that Umno has submitted more statutory declarations from the party’s MPs, stating their withdrawal of support for Muhyiddin.

The additional pull-outs came after Muhyiddin, in a televised address, said the question of his resignation did not arise as he still enjoyed majority support although eight Umno MPs had already withdrawn their support.

Zahid’s latest statement appears to have raised fresh questions about the support the prime minister has.

Muhyiddin has said the government would table a motion of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat when it reconvenes in September but many feel that he has to do so sooner as his claim of a majority is looking untenable by the day. – FMT