Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak faces more upheavals ahead, a day after his shock dismissal of his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin promised yesterday not to rock the boat in Umno despite being sacked, but a video of him talking to several guests which surfaced yesterday had him claiming that Datuk Seri Najib had admitted that US$700 million (S$960 million) of funds were deposited into the Premier's account.
The clip with poor audio showed Mr Muhyiddin, who is still Umno's deputy president, speaking to several guests including Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, about the money that The Wall Street Journal had alleged on July 3 was deposited into Mr Najib's accounts over the past two years.
It was the first time that an Umno official had claimed that the US$700 million of funds did flow into the Premier's accounts. Mr Najib himself had repeatedly said he never took any funds for "personal gain", but did not clarify whether he had those bank accounts and whether any funds flowed in.
In the video, taped on Tuesday just hours after he was shockingly removed for criticising the government's handling of allegations of financial abuse involving state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Mr Muhyiddin sat next to Datuk Seri Mukhriz along with former minister Kadir Sheikh Fadzir on his left. There were other guests around them.
Mr Muhyiddin was seen in the video saying: "This is what he (PM Najib) said. He admitted. So I said: Why did you put into your personal account?". The 53-second clip ended there.
The claims made in the private conversation are in stark contrast to Mr Muhyiddin's comments to reporters yesterday that "I will not think about what has happened to me in the past because what is important are the party and the country's problems".
Tuesday's changes in the Najib administration have led electoral reform group Bersih to announce it will take to the streets in an overnight rally on Aug 29. It is accusing PM Najib of blocking avenues to uncovering the truth behind debt-laden 1MDB. Bersih has thrice between 2007 and 2012 brought tens of thousands out to protest against alleged electoral irregularities.
Meanwhile, Mr Najib's Umno party cancelled a supreme council meeting of its top leaders scheduled for tomorrow, even as several party leaders reportedly questioned the Premier's changes. Adding a twist to the 1MDB saga, two levels of the police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur caught fire yesterday. Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar asked people to stop spreading rumours that important documents were burnt.