PUTRAJAYA - There is no warrant of arrest for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and the authorities have warned irresponsible parties against spreading such rumours.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who described the rumour as utter rubbish, said he did not know why such an allegation was spread, when there was no reason to arrest his predecessor.
"I have received a lot of calls from concerned people asking whether it is true that the former deputy prime minister was to be arrested. I assured them he is not.
"This rumour is totally nonsense. I had called the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police to verify the allegation, and they answered in the negative.
"I then called Tan Sri (Muhyiddin) personally at 2am (yesterday) to assure him and his wife that the police were not coming after them," he said in an interview with The Star.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, said action would be taken against those who spread such malicious lies and rumours.
"I will not hesitate to take action against these rumour-mongers. These rumours are malicious," he said, adding that it could cause anger and unrest among the Umno deputy president's friends and supporters.
On Wednesday, there was speculation that Muhyiddin would be arrested after he was dropped from the Cabinet.
The rumour then spread like wildfire following a leaked video clip, where Muhyiddin told some people, including Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, of a conversation that he allegedly had with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) issue.
On this matter, Dr Ahmad Zahid said what happened was in the privacy of Muhyiddin's house and a conversation among friends that should not have been spread.
"This is an angry and upset man talking. When one is upset, one will say things.
"I know how it feels because I have gone through that too when I was forced to resign (as Umno Youth chief) and was later held under the Internal Security Act," he said.
Asked if there was any truth to Muhyiddin's claim, Dr Ahmad Zahid did not answer but repeated: "An angry man says a lot of things. Whatever it is, we must be respectful towards him."
Meanwhile, Selangor Umno liaison chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar said party divisions were free to invite anyone to open their annual general meetings.
He said the party had never interfered in the divisions' choice of guest of honour.
"I don't even know who they are inviting," Noh told reporters after giving away prizes at a special education skills carnival here.
Noh was responding to a question regarding Sungai Besar Umno division's decision to cancel its invitation to former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to open its AGM on Aug 30.