Perikatan govt remains intact, claims Umno deputy minister


Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin. -The Star filepic

PETALING JAYA: Despite the retraction of support from more than 10 Umno MPs, Padang Besar MP Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin assured that the Perikatan Nasional government remains intact.

Zahidi, an Umno MP, briefly spoke to reporters after ending a late night meeting at 2am on Wednesday (Aug 4) at the Seri Pacific Hotel near Umno's headquarters at WTCKL.

"There are just two or three who want to resign, but this is not confirmed," he was quoted as saying.

Zahidi also said the unusual late night meeting was nothing but a gathering to "talk and discuss" on issues.

According to Malaysiakini, among the first who arrived at the hotel was Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob at 12.30am, after leaving an initial meeting at Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's residence in Bukit Damansara.

Curious press members had also staked out last night near Muhyiddin's house in Bukit Damansara, before heading to Seri Pacific Hotel for the meeting with Perikatan-friendly Umno MPs.

There were many cars parked at the lobby near Seri Pacific Hotel, and Ismail Sabri managed to evade journalists who had waited for him in the lobby, as his driver drove him into the basement car park.

More developments are expected to unfold after Muhyiddin meets the King in his weekly pre-Cabinet audience every Wednesday morning.

Among the 11 Umno MPs include Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Pekan MP Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Machang MP Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Tanjong Karang MP Tan Sri Noh Omar, Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, among others.

Others were Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Mohd Nor, Jerantut MP Datuk Ahmad Nazlan Idris and Parit MP Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria.

In the Tuesday evening press conference, Zahid, who read out a press statement, said that following its Emergency Supreme Council meeting, Umno decided that it will stand with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and they will not side with the Perikatan government.

"The government led by Muhyiddin has clearly failed," he said, adding that this was in line with Article 3.3 of the Umno Constitution that spelt out its role in upholding the position of Islam.

During then, Zahid also alluded that more Umno MPs are expected to retract support for Muhyiddin in the coming days and new SDs will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Barisan Nasional has 42 MPs from Umno (38), MCA (two), MIC (one) and PBRS (one).

Perikatan Nasional has 50 MPs from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (31), PAS (18) and Sabah STAR (one) and is supported by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (18), PBS (one) and four independents.

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