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Malaysia Cabinet pledges ‘full support’ for PM Muhyiddin following UMNO withdrawal

Malaysia Cabinet pledges ‘full support’ for PM Muhyiddin following UMNO withdrawal

FILE PHOTO: Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin speaks during opening remarks for virtual APEC Economic Leaders Meeting 2020, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Cabinet ministers have declared "full support" for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, a week after the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) urged him to step down.  

In a statement issued by Cabinet members on Wednesday (Jul 14), the ministers said that they have unanimously decided to continue throwing their support behind Mr Muhyiddin. 

"Cabinet members, in the Cabinet meeting on Jul 12, 2021, have unanimously decided to continue giving full support to the leadership of Muhyiddin Yassin as Malaysia's prime minister," the statement read. 

They added that each government decision was collectively made by the Cabinet, after taking the views of all parties into account. 

“The government's focus currently is to make the National Recovery Plan a success for the sake of people's welfare and the country's prosperity, as well as to bring the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the statement.

Last week, UMNO's president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that the party has withdrawn its support for the Muhyiddin-led government, while urging for the prime minister to resign. 

UMNO's status as a partner within the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, led by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) under Mr Muhyiddin, had been increasingly called into question.

UMNO has 38 MPs in the 222-seat parliament, while Bersatu has 31.

During the UMNO general assembly in March this year, the party had concluded it would withdraw support for the PN government if there were no indications of a general election within the near future. 

Earlier in March, the party had also indicated it would not cooperate with Bersatu once the current parliament was dissolved. 

Ismail Sabri Yaakob (left) and Hishammuddin Hussein. (File photo: Bernama)

Last Wednesday, Mr Muhyiddin reshuffled his Cabinet, promoting senior minister for defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob to deputy prime minister.

Mr Hishammuddin Hussein, who held the foreign affairs portfolio, was promoted to senior minister as well.

There had been speculation that some UMNO leaders, including Mr Ismail Sabri and Mr Hishammuddin, are against the idea of a breakaway from PN at this juncture when there is a pandemic.

There are over a dozen ministers and deputy ministers who are UMNO party members.

Attorney-General Idrus Harun said last Thursday that Mr Muhyiddin and his Cabinet ministers can continue to exercise their federal executive powers, as there is no clear evidence to show that he no longer has the support of the majority of lawmakers in parliament.

Source: CNA/aw

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