KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has hit back at former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over their criticism of him.
"I was angry, my blood boiled but I remained calm," he said, referring to the speeches made by Tun Mahathir and Mr Muhyiddin at the Sultan Sulaiman Club on Monday (Dec 7) night.
"I respect Tun Mahathir but don't cross the line. Don't simply accuse," he said.
The Umno president said he was upset over the speeches made by the two, where they attacked him over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue and a RM2.6 billion (S$857 million) political donation.
Addressing delegates at a closed-door session ahead of the Umno general assembly, Datuk Seri Najib responded to claims by Dr Mahathir that the people "would be beggars" if he continued to helm the government.
He presented the delegates with a PowerPoint presentation of facts and figures to rebut the allegations.
Among the points he made was that foreign direct investment recorded its highest value in 2013 to RM38.2 billion, and that the country's gross domestic product rose by 61 per cent from US$202.26 billion in 2012 to US$326 billion last year.
Mr Muhyiddin was absent during the closed-door session, leaving an empty chair on Mr Najib's right at Merdeka Hall in Putra World Trade Centre.
Mr Najib said that while he respected Dr Mahathir, the elder statesman should not go overboard in his attacks.
While Mr Najib did not indicate any action to be taken against the two, the rousing support he received from the crowd who cheered and clapped appeared to suggest their unhappiness with Dr Mahathir and Mr Muhyiddin.
A delegate said the crowd was attentive in listening to the president's hour-long briefing.
"He went straight to the point and started his speech by addressing allegations made by Muhyiddin and Dr Mahathir at the Sultan Sulaiman Club.
"Nobody booed him and there was no uneasiness," said the delegate.
The party president told the crowd that he had explained numerous times to Umno members as well as in public about the issues and told the delegates that there were other more important matters that the party should focus on.