Umno must sack their MPs who still support the government

(FMT) – Umno’s failure to act against its “rogue” MPs who continue to defy the party’s instructions to withdraw support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will see it being punished at the polls, says an analyst.

While the party leadership has made its stand clear, 23 of Umno’s 38 MPs are still aligned to the government, and Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs says this will have repercussions for the party.

“Umno should take disciplinary action against its rogue MPs, otherwise the leadership will lose its clout within the party.

“What will be more damaging to Umno is that a failure to act against the pro-Muhyiddin MPs will result in Umno being seen as complicit in the Perikatan Nasional-led government’s failings.”

This, he said, was what Umno grassroots and voters will punish the party for, pointing to the unhappiness on the ground over the Covid-19 situation and the economy.

Oh said disciplinary action did not mean expelling the MPs immediately as there was a process of issuing show-cause letters, hearings, and so on.

“But Umno should start the process.”

On the 23 MPs, Oh said it was unlikely that they would be fielded as Umno candidates again in the next general election (GE15) because of their defiance.

“Even if there is a change in the Umno leadership before GE15, the new leadership is likely to sideline them.

“If they run on Bersatu tickets, they will most likely be wiped out as Bersatu has very little grassroots support.”

Previously, analysts have said that MCA and MIC, who have just three representatives in Parliament, now risk losing even those seats should they continue to support Muhyiddin.

MCA’s Ayer Hitam and Tanjung Piai are Malay-majority seats as is MIC’s Tapah seat and Umno support is vital to win in these seats.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid also said Umno’s failure to discipline its MPs would prove costly at the polls.

He said Umno should institute disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis and according to the due process.

“Some, like Khairy Jamaluddin for example, may give solid reasons to remain in government. In his case, he is the vaccine minister.

“But Umno needs to be seen as doing something, otherwise the supreme council’s authority will come under question from the grassroots.”

Ahmad Fauzi said it was clear that Umno did not want to be associated with the PN-led administration so Umno MPs could no longer represent the party in the government.

“It’s more appropriate that they declare themselves as independent MPs or join Bersatu.”

According to reports, 15 MPs from Umno had withdrawn support for Muhyiddin and his administration either through public or statutory declarations (SDs), leaving the governing coalition with only about 100 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat.