KUALA LUMPUR: The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) will maintain its support for Muhyiddin Yassin's government, it said early Tuesday morning (Oct 27) after a supreme council meeting on Monday night.
UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the council agreed the party would not cooperate with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in the opposition.
"UMNO members of parliament will continue to support the Perikatan National (PN) government," Zahid said in his statement.
"UMNO urges for the principle of cooperation to be improved, which should revolve (around) respect and political consensus," he added.
The party called for a national reconciliation initiative or a peace agenda to be quickly undertaken.
Zahid also asked the government to take a more inclusive approach that looks past party ideological differences to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and the negative economic effects suffered by Malaysians.
The supreme council meeting was called to decide if the party would continue supporting the prime minister, following the latter's failed attempt to declare a state of emergency.
UMNO is the largest party in the current PN ruling bloc, holding 39 out of the 222 seats in the parliament.
READ: Malaysian king rejects state of emergency proposal - What this means for the upcoming budget debate
Earlier on Monday, Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers met at the Putra World Trade Centre for a discussion on the country’s political developments.
Former prime minister Najib Razak said various BN parliamentarians gave their views and opinions about the coalition’s stance within the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, and the direction UMNO should decide on.
“No matter how, UMNO cannot break up. It must act as one bloc. This is an opinion held by all members,” he said.
READ: Onus is on PM Muhyiddin to reach out to the opposition, says PKR comms chief on political stability
UMNO vice-president Hishamuddin Hussein, also BN's treasurer-general, had said: “Whatever decision we make, it must be on the basis of what is good for the rakyat (people) and the country.”
Mr Muhyiddin’s government appears to be increasingly embattled, with UMNO previously agitating for a more favourable redistribution of government positions for the party's MPs, while opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim claims that he has the majority to become prime minister.
Last week, Mr Muhyiddin had asked Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to declare a state of emergency amid the COVID-19 crisis and political instability, which would have seen the upcoming parliamentary sitting suspended.
This was rejected by the king after he consulted the Malay Rulers’ Council on Sunday.