After Anwar Ibrahim, major political party UMNO is the next threat to Malaysian government

UMNO President Zahid Hamidi, at left, and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Photos: Zahid Hamidi, Muhyiddin Yassin/Facebook
UMNO President Zahid Hamidi, at left, and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Photos: Zahid Hamidi, Muhyiddin Yassin/Facebook

Not only is the Malaysian government under threat of collapse with Anwar Ibrahim seeking premiership, a political faction is also considering withdrawing support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. 

The United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO, which makes up over a third of the National Alliance (PN) coalition running Muhyiddin’s administration, said last night that it is revising its terms and conditions for political cooperation and that failure to meet those terms could lead to UMNO abandoning the prime minister and effectively joining the opposition. 

“UMNO is reconsidering our support for the PN coalition and will present new written terms and conditions to them to continue our political cooperation, to be executed as soon as possible,” UMNO secretary Ahmad Maslan said in a statement yesterday. 

“UMNO is of the view that political stability is very important and economic growth must be elevated,” he added. “Any decision made by UMNO is for the benefit of the people, religion, race and country.”

The party secretary did not elaborate on the new terms during yesterday’s press conference, but told reporters that discussions were ongoing with the prime minister. 

A meeting between UMNO president Zahid Hamidi and king Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on the party’s latest developments is expected to take place at the national palace at 5pm tomorrow.

UMNO’s surprise announcement came hours after Muhyiddin addressed Anwar’s challenge to form a new government, saying that he would leave it to the king to decide.

Anwar met with the king yesterday morning to submit documents proving he had garnered support from more than 120 parliamentary members. But those documents were short of a list of all of the names of his supporters, preventing the king from making a decision. Despite the uncertainty, Anwar went on to call on Muhyiddin to resign while speaking to reporters after his meeting with the king.  

UMNO is the biggest political party under PN with 39 out of 113 parliamentary seats. President Zahid Hamidi and former leader Najib Razak were also named in a list of alleged Anwar supporters that leaked online and is now the subject of a police investigation. 

UMNO is also considering forming another political coalition called the National Concord, or Muafakat Nasional, and will rope in the Malaysian Islamic Party. Muhyiddin is the leader of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party, which has 31 out of 113 seats in parliament. 

Other stories to check out:

Anwar’s leadership remains uncertain after meeting with Malaysia’s king

 

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