The party should retain him as it’s Number 2, says ex-minister Kadir.
KUALA LUMPUR: Muhyiddin Yassin’s continued tenure as Umno Deputy President will help soften the party’s image as a hopelessly corrupt organisation, says former Cabinet minister Kadir Sheikh Fadzir.
“I hope they will allow Muhyiddin to do his job as Deputy President,” he said in an interview with FMT. “He can play a moderating role, to lessen the damage on Umno.”
He recalled that Musa Hitam, after resigning as Deputy Prime Minister in 1986, continued in his role as Umno Deputy President for two years.
Kadir, who leads the recently formed Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia, used to be a member of the Umno Supreme Council.
He said he didn’t think Muhyiddin deserved to be sacked from the Cabinet for his criticism of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
“He was so guarded and subtle in his criticism,” he said. “After all, the whole issue was so big. Everyone was talking about it. He had to say something.”
Muhyiddin was sacked from his post as Deputy Prime Minister on July 28, after he urged Prime Minister Najib Razak to settle the 1MDB issue by providing clear answers to questions the public was asking about it.
Kadir also spoke about the “corruption culture” that he said had become widely practised not only in Umno but also in the government administration.
He said it was a betrayal of the nation’s founding fathers.
“All of our founding fathers, in their graves, they are crying now,” he said. “Tunku Abdul Rahman is crying, Tun Razak is crying, Tun Dr Ismail is crying, Tun Sambanthan is crying, Tun Tan Cheng lock is crying.”
“What’s happening to the country? Their sacrifices now are all being destroyed. Corruption is endemic now in our country. Even in Umno itself, I’m sure the majority of the three million members are sad that we have this kind of situation.”
Referring to the donation of RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal bank accounts, he said it was a “real shame” that the ruling party had accepted it.
He said the amount was “mind-boggling,” adding that he found it hard to believe that the donor or donors had given it unsolicited. He said he was sure that the government or Umno asked for the money.
“I think its a real shame that we have to accept foreign money to use in our election,” he said. “It’s a shame, it’s a disgrace.”
He said he was glad he was no longer involved in Umno politics, especially after hearing stories of the party’s leaders bribing people to elect them.
He alleged that some candidates would spend “millions” of ringgit just to win a seat in the Umno Supreme Council.
“Why do we need so much money for politics?
“I’ve also heard some people, they don’t even bother to go down to the Umno divisions to give ceramah. Come party election time, they just stay in their hotel suites somewhere, and keep on meeting people and distributing money and they win hands down.
“I don’t want to mention names but I know there are people who don’t bother about doing party work.”