Malaysia's PM Najib dismisses rumours of sacking senior party members

Malaysia's Prime Minister and Umno's president Najib Razak has brushed aside rumors of the possible suspension of senior party members.
Malaysia's Prime Minister and Umno's president Najib Razak has brushed aside rumors of the possible suspension of senior party members.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Malaysia's Prime Minister and Umno's president Najib Razak brushed aside rumours of the possible suspension of his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Shafie Apdal as pure speculation.

 Datuk Seri Najib said Tan Sri Muhyiddin had  reaffirmed his commitment and loyalty to the ruling party at the Umno Supreme Council meeting today (Sept 9).

 "I welcome the involvement of Tan Sri Muhyiddin as deputy president and he has said that he remains loyal to Umno and is willing to fight to ensure Umno's longevity and the party's success in the coming general election. I would like to thank him and Shafie Apdal who had given the same commitment," Mr Najib told a press conference after chairing the meeting.  

"(The suspension of Umno leaders was) never an agenda at all (in the Supreme Council meeting). All are speculations outside," he said.

Today's meeting of the Supreme Council, the party's top decision-making body, was the first since Mr Muhyiddin and Mr Shafie lost their Cabinet posts in a sudden reshuffle in late July.

A message circulating on Whatsapp had claimed that the two men, together with Kedah Mentri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, Datuk Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, Datuk Hamidah Osman and Datuk Jumat Idris would be sacked by the Supreme Council today.

An appreciation dinner in honour of Mr Muhyiddin that was scheduled for Tuesday in Cheras was postponed amid rumours about his impending sacking.

Mr Muhyiddin had openly questioned the Prime Minister about the allegations surrounding debt-ridden state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).  Mr Najib is the chairman of its advisory board.

On July 28, Mr Muhyiddin was removed as deputy prime minister and replaced by Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, also a party vice-president.

asruls@sph.com.sg