Ever since he was unceremoniously kicked out of the ministry in a sudden cabinet reshuffle, ex-deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has found a new-found passion for speaking about democracy and questioning leaders
This whole episode started after the former deputy prime minister broke his silence on the 1MDB scandal that allegedly involves Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Following that, the formerly diplomatic DPM has been making headlines about his willingness to speak up for the people and seek answers to many ongoing scandals and issues in the country.
Following that trend, at a gathering to show solidarity for Muhyiddin, yesterday, the ex-DPM said seven thought-provoking things about the fate of UMNO, its president, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and democracy in Malaysia:
According to Malaysiakini, the gathering that saw around 1000 Muhyiddin supporters coming together, including local BN coalition branch leaders and members, was held in Pagoh, yesterday.
The gathering today saw leaders from MCA, MIC and Gerakan division leaders from Pagoh join their UMNO counterparts.malaysiakini.com
1. Only 30% of the Malay community support UMNO, says Muhyiddin
Citing a survey by the Merdeka Center, Muhyiddin said Malay support for UMNO over the years has been above 50%.
“However, it has of late dwindled, to 30% now. UMNO has always been at the forefront in terms of gaining Malay support, but this has dwindled.
2. The ex-DPM also revealed that the survey by the Merdeka Center states that 17% of Malaysians are content with the current economic state of the country
3. The Chinese community's support for the government has reduced to a meager 5%, currently, compared to the 13% during the 2013 General Elections
4. "You (Najib) are the person responsible, who created this problem. How long should I remain silent on this?," questioned Muhyiddin.
Muhyiddin, who was formerly deputy prime minister and Pagoh MP, said this was why he had voiced his concern to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on the 1MDB matter.
“My actions were to try and rectify the situation and remedy the party.
“I am not the person involved in the 1MDB or RM2.6 billion. Why is a person who is innocent punished and the person who is responsible is not facing action? Where is the logic and which law stipulates that?” he asked to the roar of his supporters.
5. "I am aware of my actions and my speech may anger someone but I will continue to speak up for the people and in the interest of the nation," said Muhyiddin, warning that UMNO should not ignore his contributions (to the party and country) for the past 36 years
UMNO deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin said he voiced his concerns on 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion deposited in Premier Najib Abdul Razak's account to the cabinet because it was also the concern of the people and the Pagoh division.
"Now they are extending action on me by not allowing me to speak in the UMNO assembly. Is he (Najib) afraid of a single man that he has broken party tradition in not allowing the deputy president to speak?
"Never mind if the people of Putrajaya may not hear what I say but I am glad the people of Pagoh are with me.
"Nobody lives forever and I cannot bear the sin if I remain quiet. If they want to expel me then do so but do not ignore my contributions for 36 years."
6. “Do you want to see me wrestle with him (Najib)? There is no party election, and if there is I may also want to try my luck."
Although there has been crtiticism of Muhyiddin being seen as being in action against Najib, he asked the people of Pagoh what else should he do.
Despite saying this, Muhyiddin still wonders whether action will be taken against him if he were to challenge for the UMNO presidency.
The party leadership elections, which was initially slated for next year, has been deferred till after the 14th general election.
7. Talking about democracy and freedom of speech, the sacked DPM said that, "it is as if we are living in a police state. If it is not enough to undermine government institutions, the institutions in the party are also being weakened by undermining its democracy."
Muhyiddin added that today, various institutions in a democratic government like the police, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and the Attorney General's Chambers are being undermined.
“I have the right to speak in the party assembly as I was elected by over 100,000 delegates in the party elections.
"But they want to stop me from doing this. And those who are against him (Najib) are sacked. Does he think the party belongs to him?,” he asserted, echoing what former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said earlier, that it was as if the party belonged to Najib alone.
Meanwhile, UMNO Pagoh branch leader Samad Ariffin wonders why questioning a leader is considered an offence
Umno Pagoh branch leader Samad Ariffin asked what sin Muhyiddin had committed that the party Number 2 is not being allowed to officiate the party wings' annual general meetings this year.
Samad added he has heard that even the winding up speeches by the party leaders would also be scrapped and deferred until next year.
"We are gathered here and not being paid to voice support for Muhyiddin, come what may," he said.
"We know the risks we face, where the party headquarters may record our names to be reported to the party leadership.
"But we stand united with Muhyiddin as we know he is on the right path," said Samad, who represents 106 UMNO branches.
The outspoken former DPM also said that Malaysians abroad are ashamed of the country because of the controversial 1MDB scandal
“I've met several Malaysians overseas. Before, they said they were proud of this country. But now they say they are ashamed because of 1MDB,” he disclosed.
Muhyiddin also recited a hadith by Prophet Muhammad that if something was not right, then stop it with your hands, if you cannot stop it by saying you are against it, and if you cannot stop it by hating it.
This sudden gathering is a week ahead of the UMNO General Assembly that is set to be held from 8 to 12 December.
This year's general assembly will see a new tradition that no longer includes the decades old tradition of the party's deputy president, currently Muhyiddin, officiating the assemblies.
The debt-ridden state fund, 1MDB was the spark that started all these sudden changes in the ministry and UMNO.
To help you better understand the complicated 1MDB scandal, watch these short videos by Wall Street Journal (WSJ):
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin's replacement, deputy prime minister Dato' Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has championed PM Najib Razak and pledged his loyalty to the prime minister from the start: