Zahid nominates himself as PM in bid to convince party that Umno will return to driver’s seat

(Malaysia Now) – Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has offered to nominate himself as the prime ministerial candidate in the event that the upcoming vote of confidence in Muhyiddin Yassin succeeds in toppling the latter, MalaysiaNow has learnt from two party insiders.

A senior party source said Zahid announced the matter to Umno MPs during a closed-door meeting in a bid to convince them that he would not back any leader outside the Malay party in the plan to exit the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

Out of Umno’s 38 MPs, only 15 are said to have backed Zahid’s call to revoke support for prime minister Muhyiddin.

The source said Zahid had pledged to persuade MPs from Sarawak’s GPS as well as from PAS and Bersatu to boost the numbers to allow Umno to “return to the driver’s seat of the government”, in an apparent reference to a speech by Zahid’s deputy Mohamad Hasan during the Umno general assembly in March.

“This is why the likes of Noraini Ahmad and Shamsul Anuar Nasarah were willing to resign from their positions in government,” the source said, referring to two ministers from Umno who quit the Cabinet.

“They believe that Zahid will succeed and that they will be given better positions in his administration.”

Yesterday, a PKR office bearer revealed that opposition blocs outside of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition were against any attempt to name Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.

This appeared to be confirmed by Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan, who said Zahid had “sworn” not to support Anwar for the top post.