KUALA LUMPUR:As soon as PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that he had the support of a majority of more than 120 MPs at a press conference on September 23, it was seen to have sparked divisions in UMNO.

A source told Astro Awani, the biggest Malay party is now split in two, with Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah opposing a move believed to be driven by Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The source added that the movement led by Tengku Razaleigh or Ku Li received support from several influential UMNO leaders such as deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan; MP for Sembrong Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin.

"If you try to calculate and look at the amount of support, Ku Li’s movement has greater support among UMNO MPs. At least 24 of the 39 UMNO MPs support him as the prime ministerial candidate.

"When we look back at Zahid-Najib's camp, they have the support of only 15 MPs. Most of them are those who have been charged with criminal offences or are awaiting a verdict," the source added.

UMNO's internal political crisis climaxed after Ku Li was seen entering Istana Negara on Tuesday after the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah granted an audience to Anwar.

At the same time, sources informed that the Ku Li movement had much greater support than what Anwar had gained.

"Apart from more than half of UMNO MPs, it is understood that there is also support of some representatives from PAS, DAP, Amanah, GPS, PKR and Pejuang.

"All MPs from Pejuang including its chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was said to support Ku Li," he said.

Astro AWANI is trying to get an explanation from some UMNO leaders regarding the information.