KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIAN International Trade and Industry Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has a chance of beating Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for the Umno deputy presidency in the coming party elections, said former premier Mahathir Mohamad.
'If Najib is not competing for the party presidency, he would be competing for deputy president. If he competes for the deputy presidency, he would be competing against Muhyiddin, and it is quite possible that Muhyiddin will win,' he told reporters on Tuesday.
Asked why he was not confident that Mr Najib would retain the deputy president's post, Dr Mahathir said 'people are generally disenchanted with him'.
'People perceive Najib as a very weak leader who's never had his own stand. He always merely says 'I support', 'I am very touched'. He never says anything about the people's wishes.'
Mr Muhyiddin is the highest-ranking Malaysian leader to have expressed disquiet over Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's decision to hand over power to Mr Najib in 2010.
There has been rumblings from the Umno ground that the two-year wait is too long.
Mr Muhyiddin last week asked Mr Abdullah to give Mr Najib more responsibilities to restore faith in the government and 'make the international community confident in the future prime minister'.
Other divisional leaders have expressed similar views. -- The Star/ANN.