KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — Umno MPs have been given the freedom to vote as they wish when Parliament reconvenes, the party’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said today.
At the same time, he added a caveat — their votes must be guided by the party’s decision.
“The supreme council has also decided that during the next parliamentary session, Umno MPs can use their discretion when there is any voting.
“However, it is understood that all party decisions must be used as guidance by Umno MPs in carrying out any of their responsibilities,” he said in a statement without elaborating on the nature of a motion that could be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat at its upcoming sitting on July 26.
Parliament’s reopening during Emergency rule and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s announcement last night that the party is withdrawing support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has revived speculations of a no-confidence vote being tabled.
Umno has 38 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat, the most of any single Malay party. The withdrawal of support could affect Muhyiddin’s position as prime minister but only if a confidence motion is presented in Parliament.
Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun had weighed in earlier today, saying Umno’s withdrawal, announced outside Parliament, has no legal implications for Muhyiddin’s government.
Some Umno MPs like Tan Sri Annuar Musa have disputed Ahmad Zahid’s announcement, saying it did not reflect the full weight of their party supreme council decision last night.
Another Umno veteran Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz was also reported by Sinar Harian insisting that at least 32 Umno MPs are backing Muhyiddin’s government and dared his party to sack them all for not toeing the party line.
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