Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, 20 others meet at Seri Pacific Hotel after party turns its back on ruling coalition
KUALA LUMPUR – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob reportedly met with more than 20 Umno parliamentarians who want to keep the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government intact.
This came following an earlier meeting with premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the latter’s residence yesterday (Aug 3) evening.
Several reporters spotted Ismail Sabri entering the Seri Pacific Hotel here past midnight where he met with the “pro-PN” Umno MPs who were waiting for him since 8pm yesterday evening.
According to MalaysiaKini, the Umno vice-president had met with the MPs, who included Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (Arau), Datuk Seri Zahidi Zainul Abidin (Padang Besar) and Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (Padang Rengas).
The meeting in Seri Pacific came less than a day before Muhyiddin’s scheduled weekly audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and chairing of the weekly cabinet meeting.
It is believed that Shahidan had assembled the MPs involved to reiterate their pledge to support the government led by Muhyiddin.
Earlier, Ismail Sabri was seen entering Muhyiddin’s residence, along with Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, Bersatu vice-president Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee, and PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
Other high-level officials reportedly seen entering the residence were Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is with the Bersatu MP for Gombak and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
Their vehicles were spotted as dozens of media personnel gathered for a stake-out in the vicinity of Muhyiddin’s house in Bukit Damansara yesterday evening.
The meeting comes after Umno’s Supreme Council resoundingly agreed to withdraw support for Muhyiddin and the Perikatan Nasional government earlier today, leaving the legitimacy of the prime minister and his administration up in the air.
Despite Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s announcement on the withdrawal, Shahidan claimed the Supreme Council had pushed ahead with the departure from PN without first consulting Umno parliamentarians.
According to Malaysia Gazette, Shahidan – who chairs the Perikatan Nasional Backbenchers Club (PNBBC) – also asked whether Umno is now willing to become the opposition again.
“Why did the Umno Supreme Council withdraw support without saying a word to Umno parliamentarians?” Shahidan asked.
The meeting at Seri Pacific comes on the heels of a secretly arranged gathering on Sunday, where at least 30 Barisan Nasional (BN) parliamentarians reportedly signed declarations supporting Muhyiddin.
The meeting at the Defence Ministry headquarters in Wisma Perwira on Sunday was also chaired by Shahidan and attended by Ismail Sabri, who is the defence minister.
By : A Azim Idris – THE VIBES