Umno, PAS, PPBM meeting underway to decide who to back for PM
(FMT) – Several Umno MPs are said to be looking at options to dissolve Parliament as discussions among the party, PAS and PPBM get underway.
They also want firm decisions to be made over the future of Umno before opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s audience with the King, sources told FMT.
Three Umno MPs with close links to the meetings say the discussions will centre around the candidates for the positions of prime minister and deputy prime minister post-GE15.
They also want a clearer indication on when elections will be held.
One of them told FMT they are “weighing their options” as some Umno MPs have agreed for Muhyiddin Yassin to remain as the prime minister candidate and for the Umno president to be his deputy.
However, he conceded that Muhyiddin has some “plus points” to win the elections.
“The rakyat will compare him with previous prime ministers Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Najib Razak. His image is better in that sense,” he told FMT.
The MP also said many of his colleagues may not support the national budget in November if Muhyiddin does not agree with the Umno president being his No 2 or if he fails to indicate when snap polls will be held.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is the present Umno president.
Muhyiddin would be deemed to have lost support if his Budget 2021 is rejected in Parliament, and would have to tender his resignation and that of his Cabinet.
Because of that, he said, some Umno MPs are backing Anwar as an alternative to trigger fresh elections.
“The discussions that will be held this week are about the future of Umno, PAS and PPBM,” he said.
He said Umno and PAS are ready for a snap general election but PPBM may not want that for now.
Another Umno MP said they will also discuss seat allocations with PPBM. “Some Umno MPs say if they allow Muhyiddin to continue to be the prime minister then they should in return get more seats for GE15.
“We are party men. We want Umno to have as many seats as possible and to have more Umno MPs in the Dewan Rakyat,” he said, adding that Umno can only decide its next move after Muhyiddin has made a decision.
A third Umno MP said they want crucial decisions made before Anwar has his audience with the King.
“After the audience, the King may want to meet Muhyiddin to seek his advice, so we want decisions made before that,” he said.
On Sept 23, following Anwar’s announcement that he had “majority support” from the MPs to form a new government, Istana Negara confirmed that the King had consented to grant him and Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail an audience.
But Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the audience had to be postponed after the King was admitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN).