KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Left without a position, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should seriously consider how successful he can be in pushing for institutional government reforms from within Umno, his political foes said today.
Lawmakers from DAP and PKR added that they are willing to ally with the suspended Umno deputy president and work towards a common goal if he leaves the country’s largest political party.
“Muhyiddin should ask himself whether Umno is the right platform for him.
“If Muhyiddin truly believes in serving Malaysians, then he has to look for an alternative platform,” Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari said in a text message to Malay Mail Online.
He added DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has extended an olive branch to other sidelined Umno members to join forces and form a “new political realignment”.
“I believe Kit Siang has said we are open to working with anyone who wants to save Malaysia from corruption and the narrow politics of race and religion,” Zairil said.
Last January 3, Lim sought to reach out to disaffected Umno leaders, saying that his party and the new federal opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan is willing to call for a “new political realignment” to restore Malaysia’s internationally battered image for the country’s future.
Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong said Muhyiddin and fellow party critic Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should both take a cue from the unanimous suspension decision by Umno’s supreme council.
“Anyway, for Muhyiddin and Dr M, it’s end of the road in Umno,” Liew said when contacted.
He said if the two Umno veterans were looking for supporters to their campaign, they would be better off doing so outside the Malay nationalist party than from within, where there were other like-minded people “full of anger” who would not mind casting aside ideological differences to break the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s decades-long rule.
“So some forms of realignment have to happen,” Liew added.
Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim shared similar views. Echoing Zairil, Sim said that the DAP would welcome Muhyiddin as a “part of the team” if the Pagoh MP proved himself committed to “save Malaysia”.
“DAP has said from the beginning, we will work with anyone who wants to save Malaysia.
“If Muhyiddin agrees to this direction, then he is welcomed to be part of the team.”
PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and secretary-general Rafizi Ramli also extended a hand to Muhyiddin, saying they welcomed anyone regardless of their political, ideological and social differences to work for the betterment of the country.
“We must rise above our differences with the intention to take over the leadership of this weak country.
“The people have a right to a better life,” Azmin, who is also Gombak MP, said in a statement today.
In a separate statement earlier, Rafizi offered his hand in friendship to Muhyiddin to join what he dubbed a “movement of rakyat” based on a reform agenda.
Umno’s supreme council unanimously voted to suspend Muhyiddin last night and replaced the second in-command with Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi temporarily.
Muhyiddin took to Facebook where he penned a lengthy response, saying he would not appeal against his suspension but would instead push for an overhaul of the country’s public institutions.