KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak denied the allegations that he had abused his power as the Prime Minister by sacking his cabinet ministers as he wished.
It included, the termination of former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the former Minister of Rural Development, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal as they were very vocal in questioning the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issues.
Both former ministers from UMNO were fired by the former Prime Minister during the 2015 Cabinet reshuffle.
However, Najib denied that it was due to personal reasons, on the contrary, he said that the duo did not use the proper channel (Cabinet meeting) in voicing their dissatisfaction but discussed the 1MDB issue openly.
Following is what was transpired during the cross-examination by the Chief Prosecutor cum Attorney-General, Tan Sri Tommy Thomas before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
Thomas: As the Prime Minister, you had the power to sack Ministers. Aren’t you embarrassed to use you power as the Prime Minister to sack your then Deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin?
You also sacked Shafie Apdal who was the Minister.
Najib: I did not abuse my power as mentioned.
Thomas: That is a fact as you truly acted that way.
Najib: I sacked both of them not because they did not agree with me. I fired them because they did not voice their dissatisfaction in the Cabinet as they should have done.
On the contrary, they used the public channel. That was the cause.
Muhyiddin, who left UMNO is currently the President of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. He is also the incumbent Home Minister while Shafee set-up Parti Warisan Sabah and is currently the Chief Minister of Sabah.
Meanwhile, Najib also denied Tommy’s suggestion that he appointed himself as the Minister of Finance as he wanted to rule the ministry and the Treasury Department in order to get loans for 1MDB.
“I really do not agree with your suggestion,” he emphasized.
However, Tommy said, as the Prime Minister, Najib may not have such authority but as the Finance Minister, it was valid.
“I do not agree with that accusation at all,” said Najib.
Earlier, Najib told the court that although he agreed with Tommy that a Prime Minister, he had vast power but at the same time, he also said that there were limitations too.
“There are limits to the power of a Prime Minister and there is no absolute power in reality,” he said.
Today is the 4th day where Najib has entered his defence as the primary defence witness on the SRC International trial. He spent the first 3 days reading his 243 pages of witness statement. -MalaysiaGazette