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Muhyiddin scores a big win with Umno’s u-turn

A hectic end of the week for Malaysia with politics still the main attraction despite the Agong's wish of an end to extensive politicking

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PM Yassin scored a big win with his biggest and most rebellious partner yesterday, securing their support for the Budget .

Umno had a lengthy meeting last night following which it says its Cabinet members will stay and the party will back the Budget.

However, there were no mention of the post or Umno will allow to take the job in the wake of a rejection of its leader, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, for the post.

Reports say Muhyiddin is now willing to appoint a deputy PM from Umno but the party has to offer names as he can’t appoint Zahid. That’s because the Umno leader has a series of cases to battle in court.

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While it looks like the issue of the deputy PM is not resolved, Zahid Hamidi promised voters Umno not back any other move to invoke the emergency.

Observers told The Independent the might make another push for emergency rule if it fails to garner support for the Budget.

The Prime Minister was rebuked by the Palace in his first attempt to gain support from the King for emergency powers.

In the statement saying the Cabinet ministers from Umno will remain in government, the party says they must defend its interest with dignity.

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Nevertheless, this is a big win for Muhyiddin after his defeat on Sunday with the rejection of his bid to impose emergency in Malaysia.

Losing the gambit meant a blow for Muhyiddin and his government as they were certain to face the full brunt of the Umno and the opposition on Budget day.

The King of Malaysia has on several occasion ‘advised’ MPs and political parties to stop politicking and to focus on fighting the upsurge.

Muhyiddin had used the COVID-19 surge in the country after the Sabah elections to urge the King to grant him more powers to invoke emergency.

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UNITY GOVERNMENT

Meanwhile, Mahathir is again thinking of pushing the idea of a unity government that will cross party lines.

He met with a few top leaders of the opposition and the government to discuss the idea.

However, Pakatan Harapan yesterday shot down the plot saying it will stay put with Anwar Ibrahim as its PM candidate.

Mohammad Sabu, the leader of the Amanah party a member of the PH, met Mahathir this week to take note of his plans.

Following this, he briefed the PH on Mahathir’s plans, which indeed did not have Anwar in the picture.

But the PH decided to move on from Mahathir once and for all, sources say.

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