Johor UMNO leader claims Najib used WhatsApp to decide on Cabinet reshuffle
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak used text messaging application WhatsApp to decide on whether there should be a Cabinet reshuffle instead of addressing the matter to the Umno Supreme Council, Johor UMNO division chief, Datuk Hasni Mohammad said today.
"One day before the Cabinet was reshuffled, the division chiefs shared their views over whether it was necessary or not. The WhatsApp group administrator said if 150 agreed, the president would do it," Hasni said during the division's annual general meeting this evening.
Hasni criticised such methods, saying that such an important decision should have been discussed at the party's highest levels, the UMNO Supreme Council or the state liaision committee. He said the matter was aggravated by several division chiefs in the WhatsApp group who felt they were superior because of their close ties to Najib.
"Some divisions chiefs had only met the president once or twice. In fact, in the group there are division chiefs who thought they are really big and could punish other division chiefs. They can even punish me if my statement offends the president," he said.
On 7 August, ex-DPM Muhyiddin announced he will not step down as Umno's deputy president
Sacked Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin pledged that he would not step down as Umno Deputy President although he was no longer in the Cabinet to represent the party. Muhyiddin disclosed that people did advise him to be careful on what he said in public since he was no longer in the Cabinet. They feared, he said, that he would be sacked from the party as well.freemalaysiatoday.com
“I will not step down. I have been 40 years with Umno. I have done nothing wrong to the party. Did I say something that’s considered wrong by the party Constitution or try to oust the leadership?” reiterated Muhyiddin.
“But someone called me a traitor. A Johorean!”
He was commenting on Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman warning that “anyone can be sacked if he betrays the party. He (Muhyiddin) has to be sacked.” Azalina added that Muhyiddin was not immune from disciplinary action and sacking if he betrayed the party.
Selangor Umno and KJ can't agree on whether Muhyiddin should "take a break"
The battle lines are being drawn now, with the Selangor Umno division etching its support squarely behind party president Najib Razak and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin standing behind Umno deputy president, Muhyiddin Yassin.
Sungai Besar Umno division chairman Jamal Yunos said the deputy president and recently removed Deputy Prime Minister should “take a break” from politics.This will give other leaders, who can cooperate with Prime Minister Najib Razak, a chance to continue the party’s struggle, he said in a statement.
“When I examine Muhyiddin’s statements, I find that most of them are manipulated. We do not need leaders who try to tear the party apart,” said Jamal.
However, UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin has urged UMNO members not to attack the party's deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
"Muhyiddin must be respected because he is still the party's deputy president. We must reject any kind of attacks against him. It is not our culture in UMNO. Such attacks would allow splits in the party, and we must not allow that," Khairy stressed.
The Rembau member of Parliament said it is also a non-issue when Muhyiddin officiates party functions.
"This is our leader. He has the rights to officiate party functions. He had also pledged his loyalty to the party so dropping him from the Cabinet does not have anything to do with his position in the party," he added.
29 July, 3.30pm: Muhyiddin had it coming, says Nazri Aziz
Muhyiddin Yassin’s sacking was not a surprise as he had clearly gone against the Cabinet decision on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said. The Tourism and Culture minister said Muhyiddin’s cutting speech at the Cheras Umno division meeting last Sunday must have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
“In the Cabinet, we had agreed that only Husni would talk about 1MDB until the task force investing had completed its job," he said referring to Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.
Nazri said the appointment of Cabinet members was the prerogative of the prime minister and Datuk Seri Najib Razak had appointed those who are loyal to him.
“We don’t need a show of disunity in the Cabinet at this time. The prime minister did the right thing appointing Zahid as deputy prime minister. Personally I felt uncomfortable when the deputy was attacking the prime minister and not showing support. It is not correct," he said referring to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
29 July, 1.30pm: "I'm not plotting with Mukhriz," says ex-DPM
Axed deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin has denied hatching a plot with Dr Mahathir Mohamad's son Mukhriz, when the Kedah menteri besar visited him last night.
Speaking to reporters at his residence in Bukit Damansara, he said it was just a regular visit.
"There was no plotting, it was just a regular visit. If it happened to a friend of mine I would do the same," he said.
29 July, 1pm: Mukhriz among those who paid Muhyiddin a visit
Many visitors were seen going in and out of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's house Tuesday, after it was announced he had been removed from his education minister and deputy prime minister posts.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir was seen entering Muhyiddin's house in Bukit Damansara Tuesday night.
Mukhriz spent more than two hours with Muhyiddin. As he left at 11.05pm, Mukhriz refused to comment further on the discussion he had inside the house.
"I've got no comment. Thank you," he told reporters who had been standing by since afternoon.
29 July, 12.15pm: Johor MB cautiously throws in support for ex-DPM
While several top Umno leaders have distanced themselves from Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin who was yesterday removed as deputy prime minister, Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin has cautiously thrown his support behind the Pagoh MP.
"Muhyiddin is still Umno deputy president. It is hoped that all quarters will respect him. In Johor, I have no objections for any (Umno) division that wishes to invite him to officiate their annual general assembly," Khaled said in a Facebook posting.
Reiterating his support for the Prime Minister, Mohamed Khaled said Johor UMNO accepted the decision if the move of 'finding the strength' included dropping Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
"More so because we realise that it is the right and prerogative of the Prime Minister," he said in a statement, here, tonight.
Muhyiddin receives support of the Johoreans
Most Johoreans, especially the younger generation, took their frustrations out on social media, following news that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was dropped as the Deputy Prime Minister this afternoon. Among the Johor-centric Facebook pages that were popular was the non-political Persatuan Bangsa Johor page that commands more than 155,000 followers.
The Facebook page, displaying Johorean pride, was active with six posts in Bahasa Malaysia on Muhyiddin being dropped and replaced by Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as the newly-minted Deputy Prime Minister.
There was one comment by Zam Seekers that urged Johoreans to be united against Umno (Ayuh Bangsa Johor, bersatu kuburkan Umno). Another view by Nazir Nordin Ibrahim suggested that in support of Muhyiddin, Umno Johor should pull out of the party and Umno at the national-level will collapse (Umno Johor kena keluar parti, berkecuali. Maka pusat akan tumbang, support TSMY).
29 July, 11.30am: Muhyiddin loses Education portfolio too
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been appointed Deputy Prime Minister in a major Cabinet reshuffle which saw Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dropped from his positions as the country’s No. 2 as well as Education Minister.thestar.com.my
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's last official event as Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister was the opening of the Matrix Global Schools (MGS) campus at Bandar Sri Sendayan yesterday.asiaone.com
28 July, 5.30pm: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin finally addresses the public over Najib's decision
Malaysia's former deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, just released an official statement on his Facebook page expressing his gratitude to the Malaysian government for giving him the opportunity to serve to country as a DPM(Deputy Prime Minister). According to the statement, he has come to terms with the sacking of his position and respects Najib's royal perogative to shuffle cabinet.
"As long as I have in been service, I have always been a firm supporter of the Prime Minister's policies for the nation and his leadership skills. However, this is with the exception of the 1MDB scandal that I disagreed on the basis of my own principles and and stance in defending the people's rights. If my speech on 1MDB was the root behind this decision, then I accept it with an open heart," said Muhyiddin.
He ended his statement with a note reassuring the people that he will not neglect his duties as the Deputy President for Umno and will continue to strengthen the party as well as restore confidence in its supporters.
28 July, 4.06pm: It's a calling from God, says new DPM Ahmad Zahid
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) said it was a calling from God for him to assume the position of Deputy Prime Minister, replacing Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who was all smiles after the Cabinet reshuffle was announced Tuesday, said he never hoped for any position from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak from the time he entered politics.
“This is a calling that I could not avoid. Najib and I go way back. I was his political secretary when he was the Youth and Sports Minister. I never expected anything in return, but Allah has determined this in my fate,” he told a press conference after Najib announced the new Cabinet line-up here.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who maintains his portfolio as a Home Minister, believed Najib’s decision to drop Muhyiddin was not an easy one. “But I hope all our friends in the Cabinet, Umno and Barisan Nasional members from all levels will continue supporting Najib’s leadership,” he said.
28 July, 3.20pm: Najib: "Removing Muhyiddin as my Deputy a difficult but a necessary decision"
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said today removing Muhyiddin Yassin as his deputy was a difficult decision but it was necessary to ensure that the cabinet could function as one.
"The decision to replace Muhyiddin was a difficult decision, but I was forced to do so in order for the cabinet to move as one. I thank Muhyiddin for his contribution as well as the other ministers and deputy ministers who are no longer in the government, " he said after announcing the reshuffle of his cabinet in Putrajaya this afternoon.
The PM added that it was not right for ministers to make public comments against the government that could affect public opinion
“I can accept differences of opinion and criticism as part of the process in decision making. As a cabinet member, difference of opinion and views should not be made in an open forum as this will affect the public opinion on the government and the country.
"It is against the concept of collective responsibility," Najib said in reference to Muhyiddin's criticism of his handling of 1MDB.
The re-shuffle, he said, was to strengthen the cabinet following the challenges that the government would face in the coming 14th general election.
The removal of Muhyiddin and four other ministers and one deputy minister was made due to political and administration considerations, Najib said.
“This is to make sure that the administration under me remains committed and focused on the development agenda, as promised by the BN government in the 13th general election,” he added.
28 July, 2.30pm: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi appointed as the new DPM
Muhyiddin Yassin has been dropped as deputy prime minister in the latest cabinet reshuffle unveiled by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak this afternoon.
Umno vice-president and current home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been named as the new number two.
Rumours spread earlier today that Muhyiddin along with other ministers critical of Putrajaya’s handling of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) would be removed as part of a Cabinet reshuffle.themalaymailonline.com
28 July, 2.23pm: MP's will unite against Najib if DPM sacked
Former PAS vice president Husam Musa has called on MPs on both sides of the political divide to close ranks against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak if he were to drop his deputy in a cabinet reshuffle.
“If Muhyiddin is sacked from the Federal Cabinet, all members of Parliament who believe in halting power abuse that threatens national interests must take collective action in accordance with democratic practice,” he said.
He added that political developments in the past day or two have shown that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s craze for power has reached a level that no believer in democracy should tolerate.
“To protect 1MDB, Najib would stop at nothing. He would even sacrifice national interests and his own dignity. This means that his continued tenure as PM will be disastrous to the life of the nation.”
Husam said he was not an admirer of Muhyiddin but was with him in his belief that the 1MDB scandal posed a threat to the nation.
28 July, 10.47am: Prime Minister Najib is reported to have met the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to present his new cabinet line-up, according to Utusan Malaysia Online. The UMNO-mouthpiece reported just after midnight, 28 July, that details of the reshuffle would be announced soon. There is speculation that it may be as soon as this afternoon.
A Cabinet reshuffle is speculated to happen in the near future, according to local Malay daily Utusan Malaysia in its report today. The report said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been granted an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah to present the list of Cabinet reshuffle.
Talk about a reshuffling began several months back and gained traction even more yesterday after Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin officiated the Cheras UMNO division meeting on Sunday night. Muhyiddin had stated his stand on several issues, including on 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the 14th General Election and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, among others.
Furthermore, according to The Malaysian Insider (TMI), Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who on Sunday vocally criticised PM Najib's handling of 1MDB, may not survive the reshuffle. Citing unnamed government sources, TMI claimed that apart from Muhyiddin four others will be dropped in the Cabinet reshuffle.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is to reshuffle his Cabinet this week, dropping five out of the 35-strong slate of ministers, including his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who has been critical of the prime minister's handling of government-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd's RM42 billion debts, say sources.
Government sources say apart from Muhyiddin, two other Umno ministers – vice-president and Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal; and Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek – will be dropped in a mid-term review of Najib's Cabinet which took office in 2013 after the prime minister won his own mandate.
Another two ministers expected to be dropped from the Najib administration are embattled Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, who has been stripped of his MIC presidency and membership, and Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala, the government efficiency unit Pemandu chief executive who is in his second and last term as a senator.
Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will take over as the new DPM, while retaining his Home Ministry portfolio, TMI speculated
UMNO’s most popular vice-president and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is expected to be the new deputy prime minister while Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan is set to be a full minister.
Mr Zahid would still keep the home minister portfolio, the sources said, adding that several other senior ministers would remain to support Mr Najib — the country's sixth prime minister.
However, according to Malaysian Digest, while Muhyiddin's position in the Cabinet is of concern, he has been predicted to remain as the DPM without holding any other ministerial portfolios
Prior to this, some had predicted that Muhyiddin, who is also UMNO deputy chairman, would be dropped and replaced by Home Minister and UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, but some parties claimed that was highly unlikely.
Several ministers had also been predicted to be dropped or shifted between ministries while some deputy ministers would be appointed as a full minister.
In the Utusan Malaysia report, it was speculated that Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan would be the next Communication and Multimedia Minister. Abdul Rahman had recently been appointed as the strategic communications director for Barisan Nasional (BN).
Meanwhile, commenting on the reports of a cabinet reshuffle, a source close to Najib told Malaysiakini: "Speculation is still speculation. In the end, the prime minister will decide."
Other speculations on the reshuffle include Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi taking over the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, with his task being to shore up support from rural Malays. It is believed that the current minister, Mohd Shafie Apdal will be demoted to the Prime Minister's Department.malaysiakini.com
The possible reshuffle comes as discontent towards Najib builds following exposes alleging that RM2.6 billion linked to 1MDB had been deposited into his personal accounts. Citing its unnamed government source, TMI further claimed that this time Najib's loyalists will be the dominant part of the Cabinet.
"Najib's loyalists will be the dominant part of the Cabinet this time," the source added, noting the prime minister was also considering members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which has been investigating the 1MDB issue.
The PAC is led by three-term Pulai MP Nur Jazlan Mohamed, a qualified accountant. "This isn't a full-scale reshuffle but more of a tweak," the source added.
Najib previously reshuffled the cabinet in June last year, to make room for five MCA leaders and Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong
Najib has seen his popularity plunge despite various initiatives and winning the mandate in GE13 where his ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) won only 47% of the popular vote.
He has soldiered on with various economic measures, including tabling the 11th Malaysia Plan and introducing direct cash transfers called BR1M (1Malaysia People’s Aid) but high debts racked by 1MDB and unexplained cash flows to his purported private bank accounts have dented his popularity.