KUALA LUMPUR - Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin could sense that his former boss had "something difficult" to tell him when the two met just before the Prime Minister announced the Cabinet reshuffle, which saw him being removed as deputy prime minister.
Speaking at a packed media conference in his house at Bukit Damansara yesterday after he was dropped from the administration, Muhyiddin said he was attending a function on Tuesday when the Prime Minister's Office called and said that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wanted to see him at his office at 11.30am.
"I arrived around 12.15pm as I had a prior appointment.
"The Prime Minister explained some things. And when I gave my views on certain issues, I asked him why he wanted to see me.
"Adakah ia berkaitan dengan rombakan jemaah menteri? Dia mengangguk.
"Lepas tu saya kata, adakah you nak cakap apa-apa dengan saya? Dia rasa susah nak cakap. Apabila saya bertanya, adakah nama saya tak tersenarai, dia angguk. Saya kata 'terima kasih'."
(Is it about the Cabinet ministers reshuffle? He nodded his head. When I pressed him on what he wanted to say, he had difficulty expressing himself. When I asked whether my name is not listed, he nodded his head. I said 'thank you'.)
The shocking announcement by Najib that Muhyiddin had been dropped from the Cabinet came soon after that meeting.
Prior to the meeting, Muhyiddin, who was Education Minister, was in Sendayan, Negri Sembilan, to open the Matrix Global Schools campus.
It was to be his final official function as deputy prime minister.
Muhyiddin accepted the fact that his appointment to the Cabinet is the Prime Minister's prerogative.
"I don't want to question that and I accept the decision.
"I have been in politics long and I am an experienced politician. I appreciate the opportunity I had to serve as deputy prime minister."
His wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman was also a picture of calm as she sat beside her husband throughout the interview.
Muhyiddin said he slept well although he had a late night activity given the streams of visitors to his house.
Despite being dropped, Muhyiddin said he did not have any regrets speaking out on the 1MDB controversy.
"As a Muslim, I accept this as fate. I accept what has happened with an open heart and I have no regrets with what has happened to me.
"I voiced out what I believed was right. As a Muslim, I cannot lie. That is why I have to express my views, even though it is difficult or bitter for some to accept.
"What I did was necessary and I will continue to do it if need be," he said.