Muhyiddin's sudden assertiveness a bid to uphold his dignity and self-worthKHAIRIL ANWAR MOHD AMIN
MUAR - Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin admits that has been rather aggressive when criticising some Umno leaders during the Johor State Election campaign.
He said he did not want to be seen as a “bacul, tiada harga diri and tidak bermaruah” - coward, lacking self-esteem and lack of dignity.
The former prime minister revealed that the main reason why he has resorted to “attacking” leaders such as Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak was that he couldn’t stop thinking about the sufferings endured by the people during his reign in Putrajaya under the PN government.
He said during his time as the top chief, he understood the needs and priorities of people who were badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic thus he could not simply throw political statements.
“I am not stupid. I have been in politics and in government for more than 40 years and during a crisis, my priority was to the people who were suffering.
“If we were to play politics and fight for power, they will say we are crazy.
“This is what I did, I was focused on working at that time but I waited (for the right time to counter-attack).
“Now that I do not have any positions, in the National Recovery Council I am merely a chairman who gives advice and recommends recommendations to the government.
“So don’t play around with me, accusing me of not knowing the direction of things.
“I have dignity, I have self-esteem, I am not a coward,” he said during an exclusive interview with Sinar Harian at his residence on Friday.
Since the dissolution of the Johor State Assembly on Jan 22, the former prime minister has been actively answering every accusation leveled against him by some Umno leaders regarding his time as the eighth prime minister for 15 months.
In response to these allegations, Muhyiddin and PN went on a “Jelajah Penerangan” (Explanation Tour) organised by the party.
Among his answers was that Zahid had come to him with a pile of files when he had just been appointed prime minister, pleading that he intervene to remove his case that he was facing inc court.
Muhyiddin admitted that he must answer all the accusations thrown at him despite feeling uncomfortable to do so.
However, the Bersatu president realise that he cannot continue to stay silent from those who have accused him to be a traitor and done the wrong things.
“I say these (are claims and slander) because I have dignity and self-worth.
“I did not do what Najib did. He did a lot of wrong things but how he talks as though he had done nothing.
“That is why I will take this opportunity to explain myself.
“I’m not saying I deliberately want to do this but the time has come for me to respond to the accusations, slander and fake information thrown at me.
“I am not like that. Many know I am not corrupted but you (Najib) is corrupted,” he stressed.
Muhyiddin however admitted that sometimes he does feel that responding to Najib and Zahid was a waste of time.
Statements like that, he said, may attract certain groups including the media to see how the debacle between him certain “court cluster” leaders churn out.
“I do not think I am extraordinary. If there is an accusation or slander towards with no credibility whatsoever, I will need to explain it.
“That is what I am doing now,” he said.