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    Jul 30, 2015

    Sacked DPM won't join efforts to 'destabilise' Umno


    WHILE non-governmental group Bersih prepares to hold rallies in three cities next month to push for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's resignation, the government's former No. 2 said he would not join any effort to destabilise the ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) party.

    Muhyiddin Yassin, who was sacked by Mr Najib on Tuesday as deputy prime minister, also said yesterday that he would be loyal to the Umno president, a post held by Mr Najib, reported the Malaysian Insider news website.

    There is widespread speculation that anti-Najib factions in Umno have reached out to Mr Muhyiddin - who has been criticising Mr Najib's handling of the scandal surrouding debt-ridden state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) - to establish a united front against the PM.

    Meanwhile, the sudden cancellation yesterday of a Umno supreme council meeting originally scheduled for tomorrow signals deep cracks in Umno.

    An unnamed source told the Malay Mail that there could be a political backlash if Mr Muhyiddin, who remains as the party's No. 2, was allowed to make speeches as the deputy president at the event.

    According to Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz, Mr Muhyiddin could not be sacked from the party post as he was elected by party members, The Star reported.

    Meanwhile, Bersih said it would lead Malaysians in an overnight street rally from Aug 29 to 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu to call for the elimination of official corruption, reported the Malaysian Insider.

    Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said Mr Najib's Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday and the removal of attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail were "political moves" to prevent the alleged corruption involving 1MDB from being unearthed.

    Another move by Mr Najib, said Ms Maria, was the "co-optation" of four members of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by promoting them to be ministers and deputy ministers on Tuesday.

    But PAC deputy chairman Tan Seng Giaw said yesterday the committee could still continue its hearing on 1MDB as there is enough quorum without the four, The Star reported.

    1MDB has denied transferring funds to Mr Najib's personal accounts and is being investigated by PAC and a task force.