Only proper means should be used to remove Prime Minister and Umno president Najib Razak and not secret coups, said Malaysia's former law minister Zaid Ibrahim.
"I received a call from an Umno source that Muhyiddin Yassin was meeting Umno bigwigs including Daim Zainuddin, Nazri Aziz and Mustapa Mohamed in Italy to discuss handing over the premiership to Muhyiddin.
"I don't know if this meeting will ultimately result in Najib being replaced, but I just don't approve of this kind of surreptitious move to replace elected leaders," said Mr Zaid in a blog post on Sunday.
Mr Zaid, who said he had received the call while in Hokkaido, Japan, added that while he did not know how reliable his source was, he hoped the alleged plot was not part of former premier Mahathir Mohamad's plan to change the leadership, reported The Star.
"The prime minister should be replaced only by a recognised and legitimate process as is usual in a parliamentary democracy. Either there is a change of party leadership, and hence the premiership, or there is a vote of no-confidence in parliament against the prime minister. There is no other legitimate way," said Mr Zaid.
"I believe that there must be a debate in parliament about the prime minister. If there has been any misconduct or misfeasance in his handling of the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) affair, then let the accusers put forward their arguments in the Dewan Rakyat (lower house of parliament) and allow members and, through them, the rakyat (people) to consider the matter before putting it to a vote.
"A secret meeting in Milan is not the democratic way," said Mr Zaid.
He added that even without the scandals surrounding the 1MDB, the country is in deep trouble due to corruption among its leaders.
Umno supreme council members have, however, dismissed the existence of a plot to oust Mr Najib. Umno is Malaysia's largest political party.
"It is all rubbish. The PM is aware that I am here on duty," Mr Nazri told The Star Online yesterday from Milan where he was on an official work visit.
He said his visits to Dubai and Milan were approved by the cabinet in a meeting chaired by Mr Najib.
Supreme council member Raja Nong Chik also said the ministers were there solely for work.
This article was first published on May 12, 2015.
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