KUALA SELANGOR: Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who chaired the supreme council meeting that decided on Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's fate, said his conscience was clear about it.
"I tried to conduct the meeting as fairly as I could, based on the party constitution," said the vice-president, adding that even supreme council members from Johor had agreed to the suspension.
On Friday, party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi excused themselves from the meeting after the motion for suspension was tabled.
Hishammuddin was then picked to lead the meeting, which subsequently decided to suspend Muhyiddin with immediate effect on the grounds that he did not discharge his duties accordingly.
Muhyiddin has been at odds with Najib over the 1MDB issue and the RM2.6bil (S$872 million) political donation.
Hishammuddin denied bias in his chairing of the meeting, saying that the task fell on him after the higher-ranking members abstained from the discussions.
Dr Ahmad Zahid would assume duties as acting deputy president.
"Muhyiddin is still an Umno member. If he cares about the party, then he needs to do his duties," Hishammuddin said.
Umno supreme council member Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan defended Hishammuddin on his chairing of the meeting.
"When the president and the first vice-president could not be involved in the meeting, then according to procedures, the third vice-president takes over as chairman.
"Actually, the second vice-president should have taken over as chairman but he was not present. So, Hishammuddin, as the third vice-president, has to take over."
Dr Ahmad Zahid is the first vice-president by virtue of having garnered the most number of votes in the last party election while Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal came in second and Hishammuddin, third.
Shafie and Muhyiddin did not attend Friday's meeting.