KLUANG - Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he would continue to talk about the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) issue despite warnings by friends for him to stop doing so.
Speaking at the opening of Kluang Umno division meeting yesterday, the Umno deputy president said it was his responsibility as a leader to speak up.
"People warned me not to talk about the 1MDB issue anymore, reminding me that I could also lose my party position," he said, adding that despite his sacking from the Cabinet, he would continue to support party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said throughout his tenure as deputy prime minister, he had never been disloyal to the Government and to the Prime Minister.
But in the case of 1MDB, he said, he felt the need to speak up and voice his concern for the sake of Umno.
He also rubbished claims by some that he wanted to topple the Government, saying that following his sacking he had stayed home, except for fulfilling Hari Raya open house invitations from friends.
He related how one of his children had called to warn him and his wife Puan Seri Norainee Abd Rahman while they were on their way home from attending a Hari Raya open house, that there were groups of people waiting to arrest him outside his house.
"I was shocked,'' he said, adding that he quickly called his successor Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi, who is also Home Minister, for a clarification.
He said Dr Ahmad Zahid was surprised to hear about that, and 20 minutes later called back assuring him that they were just rumours.
In another development, Muhyiddin and Norainee had an audience with Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Sultan Iskandar at Istana Bukit Serene here yesterday.
They were seen entering the palace grounds using the back entrance from Jalan Kolam Air at around 3.30pm.
Muhyiddin, wearing chilli red baju Melayu cekak musang, and Norainee with a matching red baju kurung came in a black Audi car belonging to Sultan Ibrahim.
Also present during the audience were Permaisuri Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
Muhyiddin and Norainee left the palace in the same car at around 4.35pm using the main entrance at Jalan Skudai.
He waved at members of the media waiting outside the main entrance.
Earlier, when opening Pasir Gudang Wanita Umno meeting, Mohamed Khaled, who is also Johor Umno liaison chief, said state Umno leaders were never prohibited from voicing their opinions or criticising the party leadership.
"It is their right and trying to gag them is undemocratic," he said.