KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has officially withdrawn support for Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also called for Muhyiddin to step down.
Zahid made the announcement after a Supreme Council meeting, which lasted over four hours, at the party’s headquarters.
Reading out a prepared statement, Zahid said that the government failed to fulfil the two requirements that the party had set to justify support for Muhyiddin’s administration.
They were, realising the aspirations of the people and addressing the economic slowdown, as well as coming up with an effective plan to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Muhyiddin failed to fulfil these requirements and implement them satisfactorily.
“It is clear the government failed in fulfilling the aspirations of the rakyat,” he said, citing the abuse of the emergency as an example.
“In abiding by the wishes of the delegates at the annual general assembly (last March) we are withdrawing support for Muhyiddin Yassin (as prime minister) with immediate effect.”
Zahid also expressed hope that Muhyiddin would step down so that an interim prime minister could be appointed.
The Bagan Datuk MP said that an election must be called for once the country had achieved herd immunity with respect to the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
A source in the know said 46 Umno leaders were eligible to vote on the matter with 35 voicing support for the plan to withdraw support for Muhyiddin without conditions.
“One leader abstained from voting, another reserved his right to decide now, while eight others backed the move on the condition that Umno will not work with (PKR president) Anwar Ibrahim or DAP.
“Only one person, a deputy minister who is vocal against Zahid, objected to the plan to withdraw support for Muhyiddin.”
The source said the Supreme Council had resolved that MPs can continue to support PN until Parliament reconvenes.
“We want Muhyiddin to resign and for Parliament to choose a new prime minister.”
Umno is the biggest bloc in the PN-led government, which holds a slim majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
In March, the Umno annual general assembly decided to push for the general election to be held as soon as the Emergency ends, either on Aug 1 or before that, failing which it would decide on a date to withdraw the party’s support for PN.
The past week saw high-profile meetings among Umno leaders, with speculation that the party was going to quit the government sooner than August.