KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Embattled Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin has been suspended from Umno, effective immediately until the next party elections, said Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on Friday (Feb 26).
Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan told a news conference after a Supreme Council meeting at the headquarters of Malaysia's biggest political party on Friday that there was a consensus among the council members to move a motion to suspend Tan Sri Muhyiddin, after which Prime Minister Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi left before the decision so as not to prejudice it.
Mr Muhyiddin's divisional post will, however, not be affected, Mr Tengku Adnan said.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid, who took over Mr Muhyiddin as Malaysian deputy prime minister, will now carry out the duties of the deputy president.
The decision to suspend the former deputy prime minuster was made by the meeting that was chaired by an Umno vice-president, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who is defence minister.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was out of the country as his position in the party hung in the balance at the meeting .
One of Mr Muhyiddin's aides confirmed that Mr Muhyiddin was overseas, when contacted by The Star Online.
However, he did not disclose where the former deputy prime minister is or how long he will be away.
Also absent was Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal. He was sacked from the Cabinet alongside Mr Muhyiddin in last July's reshuffle, and is seen as Mr Muhyiddin's ally.
Supreme Council member and Tourism Minister Nazri Aziz earlier said he would propose the motion for Mr Muhyiddin to be suspended as Umno deputy president during the party's supreme council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre.
The reason cited by Datuk Seri Nazri was that Mr Muhyiddin had "failed in his duty" as deputy president as the deputy's job was to support the president.
However, Mr Muhyiddin's place as an Umno member remains unchallenged.
The suspension comes in light of Mr Muhyiddin's continued criticism of Datuk Seri Najib's handling of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad issue and that of the RM2.6 billion political donation.
On July 28 last year, Mr Muhyiddin was sacked as deputy prime minister in a Cabinet reshuffle, after publicly questioning Datuk Seri Najib.