Muhyiddin to remain in Umno, will announce decision on future on Thursday

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) waves to photographers upon his arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 1, 2016.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) waves to photographers upon his arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 1, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SEPANG - Embattled Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was suspended by the party's supreme council last Friday (Feb 26), has said he will decide on his position in the party in two days' time.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin said he will hold a press conference on Thursday (March 3) to explain matters relating to his suspension and other issues which require clarification, The Star reported.

"In the meantime, I remain in Umno and would like to thank my friends who came here to show their support today," he told reporters upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Tuesday (March 1).

He was returning from a trip to Vietnam, and was absent from last Friday's (Feb 26) supreme council meeting, which unanimously decided to suspend him until the next party elections.

The former deputy prime minister arrived at the airport 7pm and was greeted by his supporters, who included members of the Coalition of Umno Branch Chiefs Malaysia (GKCM), a group of Umno branch leaders who are seeking Prime Minister Najib Razak's ouster. The supporters chanted his name as the veteran Umno leader appeared at the gates, clad in a black shirt, trousers and jacket.

There has been speculation Mr Muhyiddin could follow former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad's lead after the latter announced on Monday (Feb 29) he was leaving Umno.

Tun Dr Mahathir's move followed a bitter fallout with Datuk Seri Najib, whom he helped install to the post nearly seven years ago. In announcing his decision to leave the party, Dr Mahathir said Umno as he knew it no longer exists and had instead been "hijacked" by Datuk Seri Najib, who is its president. 

He also said that his departure came because he no longer wanted to be associated with a party whose leader has been tarnished by political scandals.

Mr Muhyiddin, who has been suspended as Umno deputy chief for criticising Mr Najib, called for him to step down in a statement on Saturday (Feb 27).

Mr Muhyiddin was sacked from his post as deputy prime minister last year after he urged Mr Najib to explain to the people the scandals surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad. The state investor, whose advisory board is led by the Prime Minister, is under investigation for financial irregularities.