Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied that he would challenge Prime Minister Najib Razak and asked his supporters to calm down so as not to cause problems for the country.
The former deputy prime minister said his position as Umno's deputy president was not under threat. "The responsibility of the deputy president is to help the president," he told reporters at his home, referring to Datuk Seri Najib who is also president of Umno.
"I advise my supporters that we must put priority on the party and the country and not do something that will cause a stir."
Mr Muhyiddin's house in the posh Bukit Damansara area has seen a buzz of activity since he was sacked as deputy prime minister on Tuesday. He has had a steady flow of friends visiting, including Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir.
When asked about his future plans, Mr Muhyiddin said: "Give me space and time to compose my standing... What I do next must be based on my position as deputy president of Umno and deputy chairman of Barisan Nasional."
Mr Muhyiddin was replaced by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in a Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, when Mr Najib removed those who had criticised the government's handling of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The government also removed Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as Attorney-General, citing the ill health of the lawyer who was leading a high-level probe into allegations that money linked to 1MDB had been deposited into Mr Najib's personal accounts.
New Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said in a statement that Mr Abdul Gani's removal was done in accordance with the Federal Constitution. This came amid claims by the opposition and Bar Council that a sitting Attorney-General cannot be summarily dropped in this manner.
In a matter related to the 1MDB probe, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's five independent oversight panels said the ongoing investigation by the special task force on 1MDB must be conducted without interference from any third party.
Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which has been roiled because the promotion of four of its eight Barisan Nasional MPs had threatened to derail its 1MDB probe, is expected to carry on with its work without them.
The four MPs were promoted on Tuesday in a Cabinet reshuffle, leading critics to say that Mr Najib wants to derail the committee's work. PAC outgoing chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed said he and his three colleagues have resigned, resulting in a three-month delay of their work.
But veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said PAC acting chairman Tan Seng Giaw can take over to continue its work.
"There is no reason PAC should halt its investigations on 1MDB as there are still nine members," he had said.
Meanwhile, Datuk Nazir Razak, Mr Najib's brother, posted an image on Instagram from the Game of Thrones with the comment: "Through this political turmoil, we must preserve and protect the integrity of our institutions or we descend into a game of thrones."
Conspiracy theorists got excited yesterday when two levels of a tower at the police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur caught fire, raising wild speculation that documents linked to 1MDB were burnt.
Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar tweeted that only unimportant documents were destroyed, and told people to "stop spreading rumours".
This article was first published on July 30, 2015.
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