KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan said the party’s supreme council has decided that its federal lawmakers could vote according to their conscience when attending Parliament later this month.
He said this was one of two decisions made, with the other being to withdraw support for the prime minister.
“After the meeting ended, the president's statement was read live to the media, then the next day followed by an additional statement mandated to the secretary-general.
“Both the president’s statement and the secretary-general include two main resolutions as above,” he said in a statement today.
Shahril was clarifying the official statements made by the party after the meeting.
He said the confusion arose due to leaks from the supreme council meeting.
“What really happened (in the meeting)? Some of the main ones, without me disclosing the details of the meeting that should have been confidential.
“First, various views were voiced in the meeting yesterday. Views are celebrated without restrictions or censorship.
“Second, after the discussion, several resolutions were read by the president, in addition to congratulating the deputy prime minister on his appointment,” he said.
Some media outlets reported that the meeting was heated, with factions led by vice president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri pressuring Zahid to rescind his proposal to withdraw support from the Perikatan Nasional government.
Some leaders reportedly alleged that Ahmad Zahid wanted to work with the Opposition and pressured him to step down as the party president.
On Wednesday, Ahmad Zahid announced Umno’s withdrawal of support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his government, citing a litany of failures related to their handling of the pandemic, political instabilities, and the failing economy as their justifications.
Ahmad Zahid demanded during the address for an interim prime minister to be appointed for a limited time to handle the current pandemic and to subsequently advise the Yang Di Pertuan Agong to accede for a general election be called.