Umno’s Puad Zarkashi says party to exit Perikatan by next month

Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 12, 2021. — Picture by Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 12, 2021. — Picture by Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi is confident the party will finalise its decision to withdraw its support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration by August 1. 

Sinar Harian reported Puad as saying that he was confident of this after every council member made their stance and decision known, with a majority believed to be in support of Umno to ‘pull the plug’ by that date.

Puad said Umno’s supreme council virtual meeting will likely be held in the nearest future to finalise the decision made by the party’s Annual General Meeting in 2020 to withdraw support for PN once the Emergency ends on August 1, or on a date suited to the current political situation.

“Umno’s political bureau did indeed give a 14-day period to the PN government to fulfill the demand for Parliament to be reopened as soon as possible. It ended today, but due to the movement control order (MCO) and the enhanced MCO, the meeting’s date has yet to be decided,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Puad clarified that the upcoming council meeting is a mere formality to finalise the stance of every council member, including those serving as MPs.

“The statement by the Prime Minister’s Office does not change any of the supreme council member’s stances. Umno’s rationale is clear; it is derived from the failure of the present government in managing the pandemic and economy.

“Umno does not want to be implicated with the PN government’s failures, what more the attitude of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who did not want to hear Umno’s views beforehand. The clearest examples would be for banks to offer an automatic moratorium,” he said.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office announced the government has agreed to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that a Special Third Parliamentary Proceeding of the 14th Term will be held for five days, from July 26 to July 29 and August 2 for the Dewan Rakyat, and from August 3 to August 5 for the Dewan Negara.

When asked about the stance of 35 Umno MPs, who were reportedly expected to reject Umno’s stance to leave the government, the former Batu Pahat MP said the claims are untrue and merely propaganda by certain quarters.

“I am certain their stance is divided. Some supported it because they believed Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein would be appointed deputy prime minister, while others signed statutory declarations simply because they rejected DAP,” he said.

Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was reported to have attended a series of meetings yesterday with party leaders while Umno MPs also gathered in KL yesterday night, where it is understood the party is making plans for its future steps.

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