KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was seen entering the national palace for an audience with King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Wednesday (Aug 4) morning, a day after the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) claimed that he has lost his parliamentary majority.
Bernama reported that Mr Muhyiddin was seen leaving his residence at 10.49am. It is believed that the royal audience is for a pre-Cabinet meeting.
Attorney-General Idrus Harun was earlier seen entering Istana Negara around 9.30am, according to Bernama.
Malaysian media also reported that Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Acryl Abdullah and Armed Forces chief Affendi Buang were spotted arriving at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya on Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed that he has gathered a sufficient number of statutory declarations (SDs) from party lawmakers who are withdrawing their support for Mr Muhyiddin. As such, Mr Muhyiddin has lost his parliamentary majority, he said.
In an online press conference after a party supreme council meeting, Ahmad Zahid said the SDs have been presented to the king.
"Sufficient number of SDs by UMNO MPs to express their withdrawal of support for Tan Sri Mahiaddin Md Yasin have been presented to the king, thus showing that his leadership has lost the majority, and he has lost his legitimacy as prime minister," he said.
“Tan Sri Mahiaddin Md Yasin must take responsibility for the government's failure and its refusal to adhere with the king’s decree by resigning as prime minister honorably," Ahmad Zahid added.
Mahiaddin Md Yasin is the prime minister's official name, although he is widely known as Muhyiddin Yassin.
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On Tuesday, a minister from UMNO resigned from the Cabinet. Mr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, who is Lenggong MP, said in a statement that he is stepping down as the energy and natural resources minister after taking party decisions into consideration.
Conflicts among component members in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government have been playing out in the open since last year.
The tussle for leadership in Malaysia’s government saw a key development on Jul 7, when Mr Muhyiddin promoted UMNO MPs Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Hishammuddin Hussein to Malaysia’s deputy prime minister and senior minister respectively.
The appointments came amid renewed talks of UMNO considering pulling out of PN.
UMNO, a traditionally dominant party in Barisan Nasional, has 38 MPs, while Mr Muhyiddin's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia - seen as a splinter of UMNO - has 31.
Just hours later on that day, Ahmad Zahid confirmed that UMNO had withdrawn its support for the PN government led by Mr Muhyiddin, and called for his resignation.