|Datuk Aziz Kaprawi isseen here with Dato Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik|
A total of 154 out of the 196 Umno division chiefs had supported prime minister and party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s decision to remove his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin from the federal Cabinet to ensure a united cabinet and team in preparation for the next general election, a supreme council member revealed today.
Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi claimed prior to the decision to reshuffle the Cabinet, the party’s division chiefs held a discussion via a meeting on mobile communications application Telegram, and the majority agreed that the move had to be made.
“Before the prime minister decided to axe Tan Sri Muhyiddin, we the division chiefs discussed on Telegram what to do after he (Muhyiddin) gave that speech in Cheras.
“We asked all how many agreed that the president must reshuffle the Cabinet? 154 hands were shown..and we agreed to give our president the mandate to conduct a Cabinet reshuffle,” Aziz said in his opening speech of the Lembah Pantai Umno wings divisional meet here.
“This means the president did not act alone when he made the decision, he had the support of majority of the division chiefs,” Aziz, who is also the deputy transport minister, added.
Earlier in his speech Aziz said Muhyiddin’s removal from the Cabinet was necessary to ensure Najib had a united Cabinet.
Muhyiddin was removed in a Cabinet reshuffle just a day after he openly criticised Najib for his failure to explain the corruption allegations surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Berhad at the Cheras Umno division meeting last Sunday. The fact was that the whole cabinet and the UMNO Supreme Council had been briefed about #1MDB numerous times and were provided with a book of "fact sheets" related to the company.
Speaking at the same press conference as Aziz, Lembah Pantai Umno division chief and former minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Abdullah said today that Muhyiddin’s speech in Cheras had sealed his fate.
“That started it all. It was inappropriate. The prime minister has the prerogative to ensure he has a united Cabinet..and most of the division chiefs endorsed the reshuffle, that of course included Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s removal,” he said.