KUALA LUMPUR: Former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had used the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue to plot against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a senior Umno leader said today.
The party's Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said this was evident from the testimony of former Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir in the High Court recently.
Mukhriz had told the court that Muhyiddin shared the same objective as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had been planning to unseat Najib since 2014.
Mukhriz was testifying in his case against the prime minister’s press secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Sharifuddin Tengku Ahmad over two alleged defamatory statements against him.
Abdul Aziz said Muhyiddin had never raised his concern about 1MDB in 2014 when the matter was discussed in the Cabinet and Umno Supreme Council meetings.
Muhyiddin only started to speak out against 1MDB in 2015, claiming that he had been kept in the dark and he started questioning the fund, said Abdul Aziz.
He said Muhyiddin had betrayed the trust given to him by Najib and Umno as he was given numerous responsibilities during the period, including as Barisan Nasional director for the by-election in Permatang Pauh and Rompin in May 2015.
Muhyiddin, who is Pagoh MP, was eventually dropped as deputy prime minister and Education minister in July 2015 and later sacked from Umno in June the following year.
Abdul Aziz said this has proven that Mahathir, Muhyiddin and Mukhriz's motives are about their own interests and solely for the prime minister's post.
"They oppose Datuk Seri Najib for the pursuit of political power, not because of 1MDB," he said in a statement today.
He added that the conspiracy began as a result of the 2013 Umno party election results which saw the failure of Mukhriz to become a vice-president.
It affected Dr Mahathir's attempt to groom his son Mukhriz to become the prime minister," said Abdul Aziz, who is also Deputy Transport Minister.
"The only way to ensure that the plan succeeds is by overthrowing Najib and make Muhyiddin a 'temporary' prime minister." he said.