PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz says he will propose the motion that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin be suspended as Umno deputy president during the party's supreme council meeting on Friday.
Nazri, who is an Umno supreme council member, confirmed he would be raising the matter during the meeting, adding that it could be used as a formal complaint against Muhyiddin for "failing his duty" as deputy president of the party.
"I would like to refer him to the disciplinary committee for as long they are prepared to investigate him.
"I will also recommend that if he is found to be in breach of some sections of our (party) constitution, that he be suspended," Nazri told The Star Online.
Nazri, who is also Tourism and Culture Minister, emphasised that he wants Muhyiddin to be suspended and not sacked, as the former deputy prime minister was elected to the Umno No. 2 post.
He said that as an ordinary member, Muhyiddin had the right to voice his criticism against the leadership, but as deputy president, his job was to support the president, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as stipulated in the party's constitution.
Nazri said the supreme council could sack him as a member but did not want that to happen because it was a disciplinary matter, and Muhyiddin did not commit a criminal offence.
Should Muhyiddin's suspension take place, it will extend until the next party election, said Nazri.
He gave examples of precedence during the sacking of former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and the first vice-president was asked to function as the deputy president.
In this case, should Muhyiddin's suspension take place, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would take over the duties of the deputy in the interim as he is also the first vice-president of the party.
"If we ask for Muhyiddin to be sacked, I think that's too much because all he did was to criticise, but he cannot criticise because he is the deputy. So the best thing is to suspend him," said the Padang Rengas MP.
Asked if the move would weaken the party, Nazri said it would strengthen Umno.
"How can we have a meeting about Umno’s secrets and strategies when the deputy is sitting beside, and is prepared to do everything to undermine us ... we can't function properly," he said.
Nazri also rubbished suggestions the Pagoh MP represented the voice of the grassroots, saying that no one cared when Muhyiddin was dropped as deputy prime minister, unlike the "semi turmoil" when Anwar was dropped from the same position in 1998.
"I want him to know that he became deputy president because (of the support) from people like us ... division leaders, branch leaders. We can also bring him down.
"Does he (Muhyiddin) represent the whole Malaysia? Is that how it is? Is Datuk Seri Najib not elected by the people? We can say that he represents the rakyat of Pagoh, but he cannot represent the Padang Rengas rakyat because I am the MP there," said Nazri.
"It is a false claim that he represents the rakyat. We have 133 Barisan National MPs who represent the rakyat, how can Muhyiddin alone, because he is not happy, represent all of us?" he added.
Muhyiddin had repeatedly expressed concerns on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue over the last month.
A day before the Umno general assembly in December last year, he gave a speech to the public at a gathering at Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, which was attended by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
‘Suspension highly likely’