All eyes on Agong’s pre-Cabinet meeting with Muhyiddin tomorrow, after Umno’s ‘pullout’ bombshell

All eyes will be on tomorrow’s pre-Cabinet meeting between the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, following Umno’s decision to withdraw its support from Muhyiddin’s embattled government.

Also hogging the spotlight are the Umno members who occupy positions within Muhyiddin’s Cabinet. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah was the first to tender his resignation.

Newly-minted Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Senior Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein were expected to follow suit, in line with the party’s position.

The Umno Supreme Council met earlier this evening. It decided that Muhyiddin would no longer enjoy the support from the party, and went on to label the Muhyiddin-led Perikatan Nasional government as a “failure”.

Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said it had gathered enough statutory declarations from Umno MPs to withdraw its support of Perikatan Nasional and Muhyiddin. Zahid said the documents, which indicate that “Muhyiddin has lost the majority and legitimacy as the head of the government”, had been presented to the Agong.

The pre-Cabinet meeting is held every Wednesday morning, where the Agong is briefed by the prime minister on the latest developments in the country.

As Muhyiddin had enjoyed a wafer-thin majority since taking over Putrajaya early last year, he may be forced to reveal if he still enjoyed majority support of the MPs.

In February 2020, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as prime minister.

The shocking resignation came after several Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia members, led by its president – Muhyiddin – decided to abandon the Pakatan Harapan coalition. Muhyiddin was backed by several PKR leaders, including Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who quit the party, in what was widely labelled as the “Sheraton Move”.

It remains unclear if Muhyiddin will do the same tomorrow, or insist he still enjoyed a slim majority in Parliament.

“The discussion today was to announce that the government has collapsed. So, it doesn’t matter if some Umno members hesitate and decide not to quit; once the government collapses, they no longer hold positions,” said an Umno Supreme Council member, who spoke on condition of anonymity after the meeting.

“It’s only been an hour since the president (Zahid) made the announcement. Let’s wait a little longer. The party has made a decision, it’s for the Cabinet members to adhere to that decision.”

There are 38 Umno MPs in the 220-seat Parliament. Other Umno members who are part of Muhyiddin’s Cabinet include Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, and Higher Education Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad.

Reezal is currently in Tokyo for the Olympics. Khairy and Dr Adham are instrumental in the fight against Covid-19, and it remains unclear if this move would jeopardise the national immunisation programme.

Malaysia continued to record over 17,000 new Covid-19 cases today.