KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s supporters in the Pagoh Umno division he used to head resolved in a meeting today to reject their national leadership’s decision to terminate the leader, also pledging to stand firmly behind him.
Among other reasons, the division claimed Muhyiddin’s sacking had been in violation of Umno’s constitution as he had not been given the opportunity to explain his actions, adding also that its members felt the leader had not committed any wrong by voicing concern over the allegations of wrongdoing against party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“(The sacking) did not follow procedure as stipulated in Clause 20 on discipline in the constitution.
“Since his suspension, Muhyiddin was not called to defend himself against the allegations,” they said in a statement after the meeting chaired earlier today by Pagoh Umno’s deputy chief.
They also reminded the leadership that Muhyiddin had been chosen by Umno members nationwide to be Pagoh Umno chief and deputy president, and that his sacking was an act of betrayal to those who voted for him.
As Muhyiddin had also been stripped of his right to speak since his February suspension, the leader was forced to use the NGO stage to continue his struggle, they added.
Pagoh Umno also claimed that 103 of the 106 branches within the division will continue to stand firmly behind Muhyiddin in his call for Najib’s resignation.
“The decision to sack Muhyiddin has sparked feelings of disappointment and dissatisfaction among members of the Pagoh Umno division, and destroyed the unity and integrity that has all this time been the division’s strength.
“The decision was also made during the month of Ramadan, and it is our feeling that the leadership should be using this time to foster unity among members,” they said.
“We in Pagoh Umno are proud of Muhyiddin’s fight for the truth. We will continue to stand by him in his struggle and no matter what happens, we will remain united because we love Johor Umno; Umno that was born in Johor and that once upon a time was the unifying factor of the Johor Malays,” they said.
Muhyiddin lost his federal Cabinet position last year during a reshuffle together with Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, ostensibly over his open criticism of the administration’s handling of the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion controversies.
In February this year, Muhyiddin was relieved of his deputy presidency post in the country’s largest political party and replaced with Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the man who also succeeded him as deputy prime minister.
Last night, Muhyiddin and former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, another ardent critic of the administration, were sacked via unanimous decision by the party’s supreme council.
Shafie, on the other hand, was suspended, pending a final decision by the party’s disciplinary board.