Umno dep president Muhyiddin says party cannot stay silent amid 'gloomy political climate'

Deputy president of Umno Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Deputy president of Umno Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PAGOH (THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the deputy president of Umno - Malaysia's largest party - said on Saturday it cannot afford to continue to remain quiet given the country's "gloomy political climate" , adding that the party could lose in the next election.

Muhyiddin said Umno, as the backbone of the government, must speak up in the wake of the issues affecting the country as it was hurting the country and investor confidence.

"People, not just locals but those outside the country, are asking what is happening to Malaysia," he said during his speech at the Pagoh Umno delegates meeting in Johor on Saturday.

Muhyiddin, who was ousted from his role as Deputy Prime Minister last month after speaking up on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, said he would continue to voice the issues facing the country as he did not want to carry the sin of knowing and not doing anything.

Muhyiddin has repeatedly called for greater transparency regarding state investment fund 1MDB, which has racked up a debt of RM42 billion (S$15 billion) in just five years.

His ouster came as part of a sweeping Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Najib Razak amid mounting criticism over the premier's handling of allegations of abuse of public funds linked to the firm.

"If we allow these issues to remain, they are not going away or getting any better," he said.

He said Umno needed to do something quickly because, given the present climate, Umno would lose in the next general election.

"What can you do if you are not in the Government and instead become the opposition. As Barisan Nasional elections director who has been though 18 by-elections and elections, I know that we will lose if nothing is done to rectify the situation immediately," he said.