Tawfik Ismail: Too many skeletons in Muhyiddin’s closet, hard to make him PM

G25 member Tawfik Ismail claimed that many Johor Umno grassroots leaders and members feel that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) had failed to fight for the state’s interests during his tenure as Johor mentri besar and state Umno chief. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
G25 member Tawfik Ismail claimed that many Johor Umno grassroots leaders and members feel that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) had failed to fight for the state’s interests during his tenure as Johor mentri besar and state Umno chief. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — It would be difficult for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to replace Datuk Seri Najib Razak as prime minister as the Umno deputy president is saddled with unresolved issues from the past, G25 member Tawfik Ismail has said.

In an interview with the News Straits Times published today, Tawfik also said Muhyiddin, who only recently started backing Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the latter’s open criticism of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy, should be clear on his next move after taking the former prime minister’s side.

“We (G25) told Muhyiddin that he and Dr Mahathir had too many skeletons in the closet. He was rather taken aback by our response,” the son of Malaysia’s second deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman was quoted saying.

Tawfik’s remarks were made during a second meeting between G25 and Muhyiddin — where the former deputy prime minister had allegedly said he should be taking over Najib’s place as prime minster and Umno president.

“I reminded Muhyiddin that there were so many things that he and Dr Mahathir did, that people have not forgotten. I told him the problem was that the players were not being straight with the public.

“If you played a role in this, where would it lead the country to?” Tawfik said.

Tawfik alleged that there are many unresolved issues in Johor linked to Muhyiddin like land acquisition matters when the government acquired plots in Gelang Patah for a developer.

He also claimed that many Johor Umno grassroots leaders and members feel that Muhyiddin had failed to fight for the state’s interests during his tenure as Johor mentri besar and state Umno chief.

“At the same time, during the 1987 Umno crisis (which led the party to be declared unlawful by the court), many state leaders were thrown into the wilderness,” Tawfik added.

It was reported earlier this week that G25 recently met Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin separately, where the topic of replacing Prime Minister Najib was brought up.

G25 has maintained that it has met various individuals and organisations from both sides of the political divide, Islamic organisations and civil societies, “but have and will remain nonpartisan”.