KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — The behaviour of 12 Perikatan Nasional (PN) ministers who wrote to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to reject the dissolution of Parliament triggered a no-confidence motion in caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed today.

Taking to Facebook, Ahmad Zahid said the matter could have been discussed internally within the Cabinet without needing to involve Istana Negara.

“This act is clearly a malicious attempt by Barisan Nasional’s (BN) opponents to undermine the PM from BN.

“Surely the PM could have fired all 12 ministers but this would have caused an even worse and bigger crisis, including humiliation. This would also involve a vote of no-confidence as well.

“Thus, the best way to deal with these undisciplined Cabinet members is for the PM to ask for His Majesty’s consent to dissolve Parliament,” he said in a statement.

Ahmad Zahid said the Parliament’s dissolution would mean that the mandate is returned to the people, and is a response to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s challenge to dissolve Parliament and ensure political stability in the future.

Blamed for forcing the 15th general election, Muhyiddin instead shifted the blame to Ismail Sabri for triggering the election that could coincide with the year-end monsoon season since it was the PM’s prerogative to decide when to dissolve Parliament.

Dismissing Muhyiddin’s blameless stance, Ahmad Zahid cited Muhyiddin and Bersatu’s demand for the deputy prime minister’s post..

“Said demand (for a deputy prime minister post) is insensitive in relation to the ongoing economic recovery situation and austerity measures.

“On the other hand, Bersatu is busy thinking only about positions and ranks,” he said, further remarking that Muhyiddin did threaten to ‘press the button’ to withdraw his party’s support for Ismail Sabri as well.

Ahmad Zahid said Muhyiddin, as chairman of the National Recovery Council, had even publicly highlighted the PM’s failure to manage the country and economy properly, going as far as to demand Parliament be dissolved.

“Yet, Muhyiddin still tries to deny his own statement,” Ahmad Zahid said.

Separately, Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki announced today that BN has finalised and unanimously agreed to its manifesto theme for GE15 following a supreme council meeting yesterday.

Dubbed “Stability and Prosperity”, Asyraf said the theme will serve as a commitment to ensuring the people’s welfare is prioritised and the country’s well-being continues to be strengthened through the offering of pro-rakyat policies in driving sustainable and comprehensive socioeconomic development.

After Ismail Sabri announced the dissolution of Parliament on Monday, Istana Negara released a statement saying the Agong was disappointed with political developments in the country and had no choice but to give royal assent to dissolve Parliament.

Earlier this month, PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man admitted that 12 PN ministers had written to the Agong asking him not to agree to a general election during the north-east monsoon season at the end of the year.

Umno seized on this admission and said it showed that Ismail Sabri had lost the support of 40 per cent of his Cabinet, making a general election inevitable.