“Razaleigh’s team clearly wants Muhyiddin to resign as Prime Minister and may not necessarily support Budget 2021 for fear that the present government is not capable of coming up with a rakyat-centric budget or administer one professionally”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
امنو ڬاڬل چاڤاي كونسينسوس باجيت 2021، ماجوريتي ايڠين محي الدين بروندور
The decision reached late last night by UMNO’s Supreme Council regarding its support for the Perikatan Nasional led government made no particular mention of the Supply Bill (budget 2021), set to be tabled next week when Parliament reconvenes.
In a statement, party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahamd Zahid Hamidi made note of a decision by the party’s Supreme Council not to cooperate with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
“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.
Zahid then went on to call for a national reconciliation initiative or a peace agenda. However, none of these decisions reflect what the party’s leadership truly wants.
In fact, the decisions that Zahid read out are the exact opposite of what Team A is truly seeking, which is, for UMNO to support PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and for Barisan Nasional to form government with PKR, with or without PAS.
Zahid conforms to Team A, as do the majority of UMNO’s Supreme Council members. Team A is a minority faction within UMNO, led by Najib, and is supported by nine to eleven Members of Parliament from the party.
Yesterday, during a meeting with UMNO members of parliament held prior to the Supreme Council meeting, Najib made an importuned plea for the party to support Anwar, shocking almost everyone who wasn’t with Team A.
Discussions ranged from whether or not UMNO should support Budget 2021 to whether Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should be pressured to resign as Prime Minister.
Ironically, none of the proposals on Budget 2021 made it into Zahid’s final stance, suggesting that UMNO was split on whether or not to support the Supply Bill.
According to sources, it is the Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah led Team B that dominated discussions and shot down Najib’s proposal for UMNO to work with Anwar.
Zahid, who is on board with Najib on the matter, clearly read out a statement that wasn’t reflective of what he and Najib hoped for, which is, for UMNO to form government with PKR.
Zahid himself had previously issued a letter of support for Anwar on behalf of Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament without first consulting them or the Supreme Council.
This caused Anwar to be convinced that he could attain majority support and led to the infamous press conference in which he declared that support to newsmen from Malaysia and abroad.
Anwar was also convinced that the DAP and AMANAH would agree to work with Najib and UMNO, a notion that has since been shot down by various DAP personalities, including Lim Guan Eng and Tony Pua.
Team B currently has majority representation in UMNO, with 25 or so Members of Parliament solidly backing Gua Musang representative Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Razaleigh’s team clearly wants Muhyiddin to resign as Prime Minister and may not necessarily support Budget 2021 for fear that the present government is not capable of coming up with a rakyat-centric budget or administer one professionally.
It goes to show that the decision by UMNO’s Supreme Council was not reflective of what Team A and Team B truly wants and skated over matters of foremost interest, including the consensus on Budget 2021.
Should the budget be voted out, not only would it spell doom for Muhyiddin, it would be the end of Team A once the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, who is likely to reject any request for the dissolution of parliament, appoints a new Prime Minister.
It is this which Zahid and Najib fear the most, and it is for this reason that Zahid presented a diplomatic resolution which served only to highlight one of Team B’s biggest demand, which is, for UMNO to refrain from working with Anwar.
The rest of what Zahid said was neither declarative nor assertive, but words of confidence expressed in syllables of hope, suggesting that the Supreme Council failed to reach a consensus on many matters, including the vote on Budget 2021.