Deputy dismissed 'with a mere nod of the head'

Former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin speaks to the media after the cabinet reshuffle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 29, 2015.
Former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin speaks to the media after the cabinet reshuffle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 29, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR • Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has said that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak sacked him as Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) with a mere nod of his head.

Mr Muhyiddin, who is also deputy president of the ruling Umno, of which Datuk Seri Najib is president, also said that he knew he would not be in the Cabinet after a reshuffle just an hour before the Prime Minister announced it.

At a press conference in his house at Bukit Damansara yesterday, Mr Muhyiddin said he received a call from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) at 11.30am on Tuesday.

"I was on my way to Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan when I received the phone call," he was quoted by Malaysian media as saying. "I went to meet Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak at 12 in the afternoon."

"I asked him: 'Do you have anything to say to me?' He (Najib) kept quiet. I asked him again: 'Is it about the Cabinet reshuffle?', and he nodded."

Mr Muhyiddin then asked the Prime Minister: "Am I not in the list of the new Cabinet?"

He said that Mr Najib "nodded again". The DPM then said: "Thank you."

He then left the meeting.

That afternoon at 1.30pm, Mr Najib held a press conference at the PMO, at which he unveiled a new Cabinet line-up that did not include Mr Muhyiddin.

The DPM's sacking came after he made a speech on Sunday at an Umno divisional meeting, in which he urged Mr Najib to tell the public the truth about the scandal-hit state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2015, with the headline 'Deputy dismissed 'with a mere nod of the head''. Print Edition | Subscribe