KUALA LUMPUR – The decision to suspend Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as UMNO deputy president was due to his failure to execute his duties as provided by the party constitution.
UMNO Information Chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa said clause 220.127.116.11 of the party constitution clearly stated that the duty of the deputy president was to assist the president, failing which a decision would be made on the matter.
“For us, (it) was a decision which we had to make because as a party, we need discipline, we need teamwork, we need collective responsibility.
“We have to adhere to what is in the constitution and in the party constitution (clause) 18.104.22.168 clearly states the deputy president’s duty is to assist the president (and) when this is not carried out, do not assist the president in whatever manner, then action must be taken,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after attending the UMNO Supreme Council meeting held at Menara Dato Onn here yesterday, Annuar was commenting on the decision made by the meeting to suspend Muhyiddin as UMNO deputy president.
Annuar said the decision was unanimous by the Supreme Council members under Clause 10.15 of the party constitution which gave the council power to take whatever decision for the good of the party.
He said UMNO president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were not part of the meeting which made the decision as it was felt that the discussion was connected to them.
“It is not an easy decision for us to make, we discussed it for hours. The president made the decision not to be involved in the discussion and he left (the meeting), Datuk (Seri) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also did not want to be involved and he also left.
“And, we discussed among ourselves, and we all spoke from the heart, everyone was given a chance to speak, and a decision was made by consensus,” he added.
He also clarified that this was not the first time UMNO had made such a decision as a similar decision was made before in 1998, and in 2008.
Asked whether the decision would have an effect on the 14th General Election, Annuar said the decision today was concerning the party’s internal matter, and it was made to strengthen the party before the general election.
“We all have to work to prepare for the 14th General Election, so we have work to do. What if we have people who hold the position but do not carry out their duties as outlined in the constitution?
“We want to continue our work for the people and it is because we want to prepare for the general election that we have made this bitter decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, another vice-president, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein who chaired the meeting told reporters the decision was made based on the premise that “we have to move forward’ and “based on team work”.
“My personal hope is that the decision which was based on consensus will help us move forward as a team without any one of us questioning the actions…I see us moving towards the people,” he said.
He said he chaired the supreme council meeting today, as Najib had exempted himself, and under the party constitution, Clause 22.214.171.124, the vice-president could chair the meeting.
In JOHOR BAHARU, the state UMNO will abide by the decision of the party’s Supreme Council in suspending Muhyiddin as deputy president, with immediate effect.
Johor UMNO Liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said he hoped the state UMNO would focus attention on efforts to unify UMNO members in the state.
“I do not know what was discussed in the meeting, but going by the statements made in newspaper reports before the meeting, they are about how important it is for the deputy president to assist the president in carrying out his responsibilities.
“I believe whatever decision was made, there will be those who will like it, and those who don’t, but the reality is that we are part of the party, and the decision was made by the Supreme Council…my belief is that we must obey,” he told reporters after launching the 21st Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival here tonight.
Mohamed Khaled who is also Johor menteri besar was commenting on the decision by the Supreme Council today, to suspend Muhyiddin as the party’s deputy president, with immediate effect.
UMNO Secretary-General Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was reported as saying that Ahmad Zahid would carry out the duties of the deputy president.
Asked if Johor UMNO would be affected by the decision, Mohamed Khaled said the post of deputy president was an appointment for anyone, not just from Johor but also from the entire country.