PETALING JAYA: Umno grassroot members were kept on their toes today as the party’s top leaders discussed the way forward amid speculation that the party was on the verge of withdrawing support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.
Umno MPs, Cabinet members and other leaders met throughout the day, first at the party’s headquarters at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, before a smaller group of leaders met at Menara Perwira, near the defence ministry.
While members of the press camped at the Umno HQ in the afternoon, the meeting at Menara Perwira was out of bounds with security personnel turning reporters and photographers away.
According to sources, the meeting at Menara Perwira, which carried on late into the night, involved Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and several others.
It remained unclear at press time what had taken place at this meeting, although it is understood that discussions revolved around the plan to withdraw support for Muhyiddin.
Earlier in the day, Zahid had met Umno leaders and MPs in staggered groups. It is understood former prime minister Najib Razak was also present.
One source told FMT that at least two Umno ministers have agreed with the plan for the party to quit the Perikatan Nasional-led government before Aug 1.
The source had said at least five other MPs, all of whom are Supreme Council members, have also agreed to quit the PN government.
Another source said everything was still a “work-in-progress” and the party had yet to make a decision.
Umno is the biggest bloc in the government with 38 MPs and its support is crucial to prop up the Bersatu-led Perikatan Nasional which continues to cling to a fragile majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
Last week, Utusan Malaysia reported that Umno MPs were being asked to withdraw their support for the government before Aug 1 and that Zahid intended to submit a motion on the matter to the party’s supreme council.