The Malaysian Prime Minister in a fight with Umno over an olive branch to the opposition


On Saturday (Aug 14), Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin struggled to quash yet another internal insurrection, as Umno lawmakers who remain loyal to him are enraged by concessions made to Malaysia’s opposition.
The Straits Times believes that showdown talks inside his Perikatan Nasional (PN) lasted around two hours on Saturday afternoon at the premier’s Kuala Lumpur house.
Speculation is prevalent that Umno will try to rally support for an alternate leader to succeed Tan Sri Muhyiddin, rather than giving in to demands from the main opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan (PH), led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The latter is vying to become the next Prime Minister.
Umno also refuses to collaborate with the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the country’s largest political party.
It had decided not to cooperate with Mr. Anwar and the DAP at its general assembly this year, accusing them of compromising the interests of the Malay-Muslim majority it professes to represent. According to a PN official who attended the meeting on Saturday, working with the Democratic Action Party will cost them in Umno’s leadership elections.
President Zahid Hamidi’s camp has withdrawn support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin, while those remaining in power, led by Deputy Premier Ismail Sabri Yaakob, are reported to have 15 and 23 MPs, respectively.
Despite their desire to control the party and government, both sides are wary of reuniting with Mr. Anwar.
Mr. Muhyiddin is thought to support around 100 MPs, with 111 needed for a majority. According to a source, Umno ministers were unaware of Mr. Muhyiddin’s deal with the opposition on Friday evening, ahead of a confidence vote next month.
Despite the claims that he had received Cabinet and PN leaders’ permission to propose a slew of measures and increased spending to combat the coronavirus pandemic.


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