POLITICS: Crucial Umno supreme council meeting tonight


Tonight, will Umno pull the plug on its love/hate relationship with the Perikatan Nasional government?

Around 8.30pm the party's supreme council members are meeting virtually and on the agenda is whether Umno should quit the ruling coalition.

Will tonight be an anti-climax like its previous supreme council meetings in which party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi could not get Umno to pull the plug?

Umno is a party split between Team Tak Mesra Bunga (not flower friendly - the symbol of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is a flower) and Team Mesra Bunga (flower friendly).

Team Tak Mesra Bunga wants the party to quit the government as soon as possible, whereas Team Mesra Bunga does not think it is the right time to leave the ruling coalition that came into power in March last year.

Team Tak Mesra Bunga led by Ahmad Zahid has control of most of the Umno supreme council members. In contrast, Team Mesra Bunga has the support of most of the Umno MPs, who are ministers, deputy ministers and government-linked company chairpersons.

Interestingly, the 46-odd Umno supreme council consists primarily of non-ministers and non-MPs.

There are about 15 Umno MPs in the council. Not all Umno ministers adamant that the party remains with the government are in the supreme council. For example, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

In short, most of the Umno supreme council members are warlords without any posts in the government.

If we were to take supreme council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi's Facebook post this morning as an indication, the party would vote to pull the plug.

"WHAT ELSE? Is this a success? Defend what else? Support what else? What else is important? What are you waiting for? Just pull the support. UMNO cannot be held ransom by anybody," wrote the former Batu Pahat MP.

But will Ahmad Zahid dare pull the support? What happens next has more questions than answers.

If he does, will Umno split just like how PKR cracked with Team Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, the party's former deputy president, and nine PKR MPs joining Bersatu.

Will the pro-Bersatu Umno MPs obey the Umno supreme council order to leave the Perikatan government?

If they don't, will the Umno president dare sack them?

It would take about five Umno MPs to withdraw support for the Perikatan government to lose its majority.

Out of 220 MPs, 112 MPs support Muhyiddin and there are 106 Opposition MPs. Two Umno MPs - Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah - have withdrawn their support for the PM.

Are five MPs quitting enough to bring down the government?

If the Perikatan government falls, can the jajaran baru (new alignment) of Umno and Pakatan Harapan (PKR, DAP and Amanah) have enough MPs to form the government? Is Umno willing for a PKR president to be PM?

Will a big announcement today scuttle the Umno long kiss goodbye?

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