KUALA LUMPUR – March 3, 2016: Suspended Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has made it clear today that he will not quit the party.
Speaking to the reporters in front of his office at Bukit Damansara here, Muhyiddin said speculation of him leaving the party should not arise because Umno is his “darah daging” (flesh and blood).
However, Muhyiddin said that just because he is loyal to the party, it does not mean that he will turn a blind eye to the alleged wrongdoings of party president’s Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“I joined Umno because I wanted to fight for the country and its people instead of any particular individual.
“Why should I quit? Ever since I started criticising the party president, a lot of good things have happened to the people.
“It would be irresponsible of me to simply leave the party because I was legally elected as the deputy president and the Pagoh division chief,” he said.
Muhyiddin added that if he quits the party, then he would no longer have any relevant standing to criticise party matters.
“But as a ‘rakyat’ (citizen) I still have the right to condemn the prime minister if I see it fit to do so.
“In fact, from now on I will be more vocal in criticising the party president because that is my principle,” he said, “If I were to be sacked then…we’ll see how it goes first.”
He denied that he was involved in a conspiracy to topple Najib.
Muhyiddin had been vocal in his criticisms against Najib, particularly the handling of controversy surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue.
Muhyiddin also mentioned that his popularity among the people, especially youths, has grown significantly after he started questioning the conducts of Najib as prime minister and Umno president.
“So, I hope that they won’t be disappointed with my decision to stay in the party and will continue to support me.
“I want them to know that Umno is not at fault here, the one at fault here are those who are in the party,” he said.
Also present were Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and former Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, who are known to be opposing Najib’s leadership. Both said that they will follow in Muhyiddin’s footsteps and not quit the party.
Speculation of Muhyiddin quitting Umno has been rife since his suspension as Najib’s deputy last week.
Muhyiddin was suspended from his post because the Umno supreme council has decided that he failed to perform his duties and responsibilities.