KUALA LUMPUR: A day after he was deposed in a cabinet reshuffle, former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Wednesday (Jul 29) that he does not feel worried about losing his position as UMNO deputy party president.
Speaking to the media at his home in Kuala Lumpur’s Damansara Heights, Mr Muhyiddin said that despite being axed by Prime Minister Najib Razak, he does not foresee any issues dealing with Mr Najib in the latter’s capacity as the President of UMNO, the biggest party in Malaysia ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a problem working with Mr Najib,” he said. “And, as deputy party president, I don’t feel threatened over my position in UMNO.”
He added: “I will always speak the truth – that’s my promise to the people and the party.”
Flanked by his wife, Mr Muhyiddin said he was heartened by messages of support over his dismissal from the cabinet. “I slept well although I stayed up late to read words of support on social media,” he said during his 30-minute news conference.
Mr Muhyiddin had on Sunday made his first public remarks on the graft scandal at the state wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), urging Mr Najib to offer explanations on the saga.
This was followed on Monday by the Prime Minister’s Office issuing a statement urging “all administrative officials including the Deputy Prime Minister” to wait for the results of the investigation on the graft scandal.
Mr Najib has come under mounting pressure over the past year amid a drip-feed of allegations related to 1MDB, which he launched in 2009. He still chairs its advisory board.
According to a Wall Street Journal report this month, Malaysian government investigators had discovered that nearly US$700 million had moved through government agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB before ending up in Mr Najib’s personal accounts.
The premier has denied the report as “political sabotage”, while 1MDB has said it did not transfer any funds to the premier. 1MDB is reeling under US$11 billion in debt, blamed largely on a much-questioned drive to acquire power-industry assets.
NEW CABINET SWORN IN
On Wednesday, Malaysian King Tuanku Abdul Halim presided over a swearing-in ceremony in Putrajaya for new members of the cabinet.