PUTRAJAYA: The plan to table a motion of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat next month is merely a delaying tactic by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has alleged.
“This is a delaying tactic, from having to let go of his position as Prime Minister,” said the former deputy prime minister.
Asked if Muhyiddin’s announcement has derailed Umno’s plan to pressure him to resign, Ahmad Zahid said, “We shall see what will happen in Parliament next month.”
On whether the number of Umno lawmakers who retracted their support for the Perikatan Nasional government remains the same, he said the number is now more than the initial 11 MPs he had announced on Tuesday.
“We have more lawmakers in our list now,” he said when contacted yesterday, without revealing their identities.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Ahmad Zahid challenged the government to call for a special Parliament sitting immediately to prove that the Prime Minister still had majority support.
This needed to be done now without having to wait for the September Dewan Rakyat sitting, he said, alleging that the Prime Minister’s claim that the government still had the majority was not true.
He said prior to this, Perikatan had the support of 114 MPs and that on July 30, he had presented the Yang di-Pertuan Agong with the statutory declarations (SDs) of eight Umno lawmakers.
“Today, I sent a letter to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to present His Majesty with additional statutory declarations. This is on top of the eight SDs that were presented on July 30,” he added.
On Tuesday, Ahmad Zahid announced that 11 Umno MPs had retracted their support for the Perikatan government and Muhyiddin as Prime Minister, and that SDs from the lawmakers had been sent to the King.
Following an audience with the King yesterday, Muhyiddin in a televised address said he would not resign but instead would table a motion of confidence to determine the legitimacy of his position in the Dewan Rakyat in September.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also questioned why the Prime Minister needed to wait until September to prove that he still enjoyed majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.
“He (Muhyiddin) said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has requested for evidence that he has majority support.
“He said the King informed him that only eight Umno lawmakers had withdrawn support for him. Remember. He only said eight and that he believed that he still enjoys the majority support.
“But he promised the King that a motion of confidence will be tabled in Parliament in September. Why not now since we just entered the month of August?” Najib posted on Facebook.
In a separate statement, the Kubang Kerian Umno division threw its full support behind their party president and the supreme council in its decision to withdraw support for Muhyiddin and the Perikatan government.
Its acting chief Bakri Yusoff said the decision was timely as the Perikatan government was sidelining the position of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.