KUALA LUMPUR: Kedah Umno Liaison Chairman Mukhriz Mahathir today finally spoke up in defence of sacked cabinet ministers Muhyiddin Yassin and Shafie Apdal.
Mukhriz, who is also Kedah Menteri Besar, said the decision by Umno President Najib Razak to deny his deputy president and vice-president the platform to deliver their speeches at the 2015 Umno General Assembly was a big mistake that could harm the ruling party.
“We always say that our party is inclusive, that we practice freedom of speech although we have different opinions.
“The differences and varieties are important so that we can look out for the people.”
“The fact that Muhyiddin and Shafie were not allowed to give a speech, that decision is a mistake which in the end could cause harm,” said Mukhriz in his speech during a dinner at Saloma Bistro here today.
Also present at the dinner were his parents, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Dr Siti Hasmah Ali apart from Muhyiddin, and Shafie.
Umno members from various states were also present, including the infamous Umno branch leaders a.k.a. “Umno rebels” who have called for the prime minister’s resignation.
Mukhriz, in his speech, admitted that hosting the dinner was a risk he had to take but that it was not an indication that those present wanted to destroy Umno.
“I admit that I am taking a risk as the Kedah Umno Liaison Chairman but position is not important because when we die, all we need is prayers from our children.”
“The party or country’s constitution does not say it is illegal for us to hold such gatherings. This is our right and as long as we have done the right thing, Umno will stay alive forever.”
Former premier Mahathir has been at the forefront of a harsh public campaign to force Najib out of office because of the alleged mismanagement of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), for which the latter is chief advisor.
He has spoken against Najib and 1MDB at public forums in various towns and also made two brief appearances at the Bersih 4 public rally in Kuala Lumpur while urging the people to speak to their MPs to move a vote of no-confidence against Najib.