KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — An Umno minister has hit out at Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over the latter’s complaint of being sidelined by the party leadership, telling the senior leader that trust and respect has to be earned.
The minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, also noted that in his complaint at a Johor forum yesterday, Muhyiddin had claimed to have only done what he believed was good for the party he loves.
“How does giving ammunition to the opposition to hit the party be considered for the good of the party?” Salleh asked his deputy president in a post on his blog.
“Trust and respect need to be earned, not demanded, as the saying goes,” he added.
During the forum organised by Malay daily Sinar Harian, Muhyiddin had questioned his treatment in Umno following his removal as deputy prime minister, saying he was being sidelined despite having committed no offence.
The senior Umno leader said he was ostracised by the party even though he remained the second most senior leader in Umno after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He also insisted he was a loyal deputy, pointing out that it was he who had convinced Najib to take over as prime minister during Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s rule.
But Salleh said that Muhyiddin had failed to mention that during that time, Najib had not wanted to betray Abdullah.
“Najib felt the deputy should be loyal to the number one. So it is not that Najib took a long time to make up his mind but more that Najib did not want to oust the Prime Minister.
“If Muhyiddin wants to relate history then let it be the correct version of history,” he said.
Muhyiddin was removed from the federal Cabinet in a reshuffle earlier this year following his open criticism of the administration’s handling of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy.
Aside from Muhyiddin, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was also dropped as rural and regional development minister over public dissent on 1MDB in the same reshuffle.
In June, Putrajaya announced a six-month plan to rationalise 1MDB’s reported RM42 billion in debt and this month said it was on track for completion by the end of the year.