Supreme council deliberated on DPM post but no decision - Umno sources

Haspaizi Zain & Zikri Kamarulzaman
·2-min read
Supreme council deliberated on DPM post but no decision - Umno sources
Supreme council deliberated on DPM post but no decision - Umno sources

Expectations were high last night that Umno would decide on a candidate for the post of deputy prime minister during its supreme council meeting.

However, a statement issued by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after the meeting made no mention of the post of deputy prime minister, while other leaders kept mum when met by the press late last night.

The number two spot in the federal government is said to be one of Umno's demands for continued cooperation with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the Perikatan Nasional government.

When contacted, party sources who attended the meeting said they did discuss filling in the number two post, but did not arrive at a decision.

Sources were also tightlipped about whose name cropped up as a possible candidate.

Yesterday, one supreme council member told Malaysiakini, on condition of anonymity, that three possible names were being floated, namely Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan, vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, and Sembrong MP Hishammuddin Hussein.

Hishammuddin has denied making any moves to position himself as a contender, which a source said backfired on him.

Hishammuddin Hussein
Hishammuddin Hussein

"Hishammuddin was checkmated. He himself denied he was interested and would obey the party's decision.

"So he was defensive, and this makes it difficult for Muhyiddin to appoint someone who is not in the Umno (leadership) hierarchy," the source said.

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini also understands that some supreme council members are pushing for Zahid to be the candidate for deputy prime minister.

Previously, it was reported that Muhyiddin was allegedly not in favour of appointing Zahid due to the latter still being tied up with a corruption case in court.

Zahid, in his statement yesterday, said the current line-up of Umno ministers would stay in government.

However, the party wants there to be a general election once the Covid-19 pandemic is under control.

A supreme council member said there was no fixed deadline for when the election should be held, and that for now, the status quo would remain.

"All Umno MPs will be supporting (Budget 2021)," the party leader added.

Umno's support for PN has been teetering after Bersatu - which leads the loose alliance - muscled the former the Umno pick out of the Sabah chief minister position in last month's state election.

The Malay party felt that it had been making too many concessions to Bersatu, with the latter not reciprocating.

This led to speculation that some Umno MPs would vote against Budget 2021, as a show of no confidence against Muhyiddin.

However, Umno has decided to continue backing PN on condition that the party gets more respect and political consensus.