Party MPs, ministers to follow decision or ship out

Dick Lembang Dugun

KUCHING: United Malays National Organisation (Umno) MPs, ministers and deputy ministers are expected to follow the party’s decision in withdrawing support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Political analyst Dick Lembang Dugun said failure to do so would split in the party.

“They must remember that they are there because of their party, which is Umno. So by right, they must follow the party’s decision.

“If not, they have to move out from the party before the party moves them out. This is what we can expect in the next few days,” he said when contacted on Thursday (July 8).

He opined that, similarly, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein – both Umno stalwarts– who were appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister (Security) respectively on Wednesday (July 7) would have to follow Umno’s decision or leave the party.

He said the prime minister’s move regarding the two recent appointments could be considered a pre-emptive action to deflect Umno’s decision. However, the move appeared to be in vain since Umno decided to withdraw their support and call for the prime minister to step down due to the failure of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

“This means that the appointment of the two Umno members before the Umno Supreme Council meeting failed to persuade the party to retain their support for the PN government,” said Dick.

He also pointed out the prior relationship crisis between Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), a major component party of the ruling PN coalition.

“In this relationship crisis, people tend to see that Umno is weak under Zahid’s (Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) leadership.

“Now, people would see that Umno is making the right move in the issue of their relationship with Bersatu or the PN government.” 

He believed that Umno knew that if they kept on with the ‘tug of war’ on their support for the PN government or Bersatu, their supporters would feel that they were not serious in their decisions or moves – which could backfire on them in the future.

“Most importantly, Umno members do not want to see their party as a part of the failure of the PN government in managing the country during this pandemic,” Dick said, noting that the government’s management of the country and Covid-19 had become a hot issue these days.