Supreme Council members, including himself, feel doing so during a pandemic is pointless, reveals DPM
KUALA LUMPUR : Newly minted Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob revealed that a majority of Umno Supreme Council members had disagreed with the directive to withdraw support for Perikatan Nasional and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In an interview with Berita Harian, Ismail Sabri, who is also Umno vice-president, said Supreme Council members, including himself, felt that retracting support for the current government during a pandemic was pointless.
He added that this was not the time for politicking as the public is getting more desperate to stave off the economic effects of the pandemic.
He was quoted as saying only Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid did not attend the Supreme Council meet due to poor health.
“During the meeting, those present said they disagreed with the decision to retract support.
“We believe that we need to settle issues involving the people first, because they are burdened by many things, and so, they should be our priority.
“We understand the people’s predicament, and we are doing our best to find ways to help them. So, let’s put this politicking aside for now. This is not the time to withdraw support.”
While backing for Muhyiddin was decided at Umno’s general assembly in March, Ismail Sabri said the issue should not be brought up now.
He said the Supreme Council decided that the party’s MPs are free to support Muhyiddin or otherwise.
“The Supreme Council has admitted that MPs can decide whether they want to support the prime minister.
“Also, MPs’ support for the prime minister can be voiced at any time, not just in Parliament.”
Yesterday, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced the party’s withdrawal of support for PN and Muhyiddin after a Supreme Council meeting lasting over four hours on Wednesday night.
The party called on Muhyiddin to step down honourably and make way for a new prime minister, with the focus being on putting Malaysia back on track amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zahid said the new prime minister must call a general election after the country attains herd immunity, so as to have a stable government in place.
He also ran a victory lap, crediting the convening of Parliament at end-July to the 14-day ultimatum issued by Umno’s political bureau to Muhyiddin.
At the end of his 12.50am broadcast, Zahid did not mention if Ismail Sabri and Senior Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein are to reject their promotions, or if Umno MPs have to relinquish their posts in government agencies and government-linked companies.