Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has sacked his deputy in a cabinet reshuffle after Muhyiddin Yassin had called on the leader to explain a growing corruption scandal at debt-laden state investment fund 1MDB. Muhyiddin had said at the weekend the ruling coalition could lose the next election if Najib and others did not better manage issues stemming from the scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which has debts of more than $11bn. Aljazeera reports:
Muhyiddin has been replaced by Home Minister Zahid Hamidi, a right-wing politician well-liked by members of the United Malays National Organisation party, which has led Malaysian coalition governments since independence in 1957. “The decision to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was very difficult, but leadership is about doing what you think is right,” Najib said in a speech on Tuesday.
“Nevertheless, I thank Tan Sri Muhyiddin for all his work and dedication to the government and country, as I do all those ministers who are no longer in the cabinet.” Bernama news agency reported on Tuesday that Najib also sacked Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, who was involved in investigations into corruption allegations related to the Najib-linked company.
The prime minister, who launched 1MDB in 2009, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. Najib told his deputy and other officials on Monday to stop commenting on the scandal at the investment fund, saying arguments among leaders would erode support for the government.