Muhyiddin: How I made Najib the PM
Ousted DPM says Mahathir asked him to replace Abdullah but he said Najib as deputy should be the one
(Free Malaysia Today) – Muhyiddin Yassin has revealed that he was instrumental in Najib Razak becoming prime minister, and that he had declined when asked by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to replace Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Muhyiddin related the background to Najib’s assumption of power when speaking at a dialogue in Johor Bahru yesterday. The dialogue was organised by publishing company Karangkraf and its daily newspaper Sinar Harian.
He said he had met Najib and urged him to challenge Abdullah after the Barisan Nasional suffered severe losses in the 2008 general election, losing power in five states.
“The thing with Najib is, he takes a long time to make up his mind,” Muhyiddin said, according to Malaysian Insider. “That was when I met Dr Mahathir and he asked me to go for the presidency. But I said no, I can’t, I am only party vice president, and Najib is the deputy president, so he should go for it.”
Muhyiddin said he was eventually the one who convinced Najib to take up the challenge and become prime minister.
“It was on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Senai that I told him that he needs to make up his mind quickly and I told him that Dr Mahathir had asked me to take up the challenge instead. That was when Najib said okay, he will do it. He agreed to it on a flight to Johor,” said Muhyiddin.
About 400 people, most of them Johor Umno members, attended the dialogue session, held in a hotel in Johor Bahru.