Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said today removing Muhyiddin Yassin as his deputy was a difficult decision but it was necessary to ensure that the cabinet could function as one.
"The decision to replace Muhyiddin was a difficult decision, but I was forced to do so in order for the cabinet to move as one.
"I thank Muhyiddin for his contribution as well as the other ministers and deputy ministers who are no longer in the government, " he said after announcing the reshuffle of his cabinet in Putrajaya this afternoon.
Najib said it was not right for ministers to make public comments against the government that could affect public opinion.
“I can accept differences of opinion and criticism as part of the process in decision making. As a cabinet member, difference of opinion and views should not be made in an open forum as this will affect the public opinion on the government and the country.
"It is against the concept of collective responsibility," Najib said in reference to Muhyiddin's criticism of his handling of 1MDB.
The re-shuffle, he said, was to strengthen the cabinet following the challenges that the government would face in the coming 14th general election.
The removal of Muhyiddin and four other ministers and one deputy minister was made due to political and administration considerations, Najib said.
“This is to make sure that the administration under me remains committed and focused on the development agenda, as promised by the BN government in the 13th general election,” he added.