Report: Umno leader dismisses rumour of 35 MPs rebelling against party

Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi was responding to reports that 35 Umno MPs met at a location along Jalan Bellamy, Kuala Lumpur on Friday night and intended to reject any party directive for them to retract support from PN. — Picture by Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi was responding to reports that 35 Umno MPs met at a location along Jalan Bellamy, Kuala Lumpur on Friday night and intended to reject any party directive for them to retract support from PN. — Picture by Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Umno supreme council member Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi has rejected claims that 35 of his party’s lawmakers would refuse to comply with the party’s decision to pull support from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

“I am confident the claims are inaccurate and are just propaganda,” he was quoted as saying by local Malay language daily Sinar Harian.

Puad was responding to reports that 35 Umno MPs met at a location along Jalan Bellamy, Kuala Lumpur on Friday night and intended to reject any party directive for them to retract support from PN.

The meeting was confirmed by Padang Besar MP Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin who stressed that all MPs involved would continue to abide by the party resolution — made during the 2020 Umno General Assembly — to support the PN government until Parliament is dissolved.

Puad reportedly said that some Umno MPs were of the mind to reject the party’s resolution because they believed that Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is set to be appointed the deputy prime minister.

He reportedly added that there were also Umno MPs who signed statutory declarations (SD) in support of Hishammuddin purely because they rejected cooperation with DAP.

Currently there are 41 MPs from the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, 38 of whom are from Umno.

Another Umno supreme council member, Datuk Khaidhirah Abu Zahar, reportedly confirmed that she met with party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan last Thursday.

However, the Puteri Umno exco denied that she was instructed to sign any document in support of an Umno decision to leave the PN government before August 1.

“What is for sure is, my meeting with the Umno president was only a pre-council meeting, with me being given the opportunity to give a personal view on what is happening in the party.

“For me, the meeting was positive because the Umno president gave us space to express our views and he himself also presented his views on the future direction of the party,” she reportedly said.

This comes amid speculation that Zahid is planning for Umono to leave the PN government, pending a final decision by the party’s supreme council at a coming meeting.

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