KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Both Barisan Nasional (BN) and its lynchpin party Umno seem to have split into two different factions, following statements issued by its leaders that seem to contradict each other’s stand on their support for the Perikatan Nasional government.
After the Yang di-Pertuan Agong denied it had assented to revoking the Emergency Ordinances (EO) as claimed by the government, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi again reiterated that the party’s MPs have rescinded their support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri, also from Umno, later claimed that the government still stands as “more than 110 MPs” are still backing Muhyiddin to stay as prime minister. He did not prove his assertion.
Later on, a statement bearing the Barisan Nasional (BN) logo and allegedly signed by Ismail was released to the media claiming 40 of its lawmakers are backing the administration and Muhyiddin’s leadership after a meeting was held among its members.
BN currently has 42 lawmakers, which include 38 lawmakers from Umno, two from MCA, one from MIC and PBS, respectively.
Subsequent attempts by Malay Mail to verify the legitimacy of this letter with BN lawmakers had gone unanswered.
However, the abovementioned statement was later confirmed as false via an official communiqué issued by BN executive secretary Datuk Mohamad Sahfri Ab Aziz, stating that only the office of the pact’s chairman or the secretary-general are authorised to issue any press statements.
“The Barisan Nasional Headquarters denied the existence of a letter using the logo and address of the party’s office as it was published and went viral at this time,” he said.
Further complicating matters, ousted former BN secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa in a late night remark claimed that the BN statement was indeed authentic, and lambasted Mohamad Sahfri for denying it.
He said the consensus was made among 40 BN MPs, including five who did not attend the meeting, at 5.30pm in Parliament.
The current secretary-general of BN is Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir with Ahmad Zahid the chairman as Umno president.
Ismail Sabri does not hold any position in BN, but is reportedly the chief whip of the government MPs following his promotion as deputy prime minister.
Not long after that, statements from Perak Umno chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad and Pahang Umno chairman Datuk Sri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail were also circulated to the press.
In an apparent attempt to distance themselves, both men asked Muhyiddin to take full responsibility over the matter and urged him to ask forgiveness from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Earlier today, the King expressed his deep disappointment at de facto law minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan’s assertion in Parliament that the EOs had been revoked despite him not giving his assent yet.
Istana Negara’s statement resulted in an uproar inside the Dewan Rakyat earlier today leading to a long break, with the sitting ultimately cut short following announcement that two more of those in the hall were positive with Covid-19.
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