Former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, in his strongest statement yet, lashed out at Umno leaders, calling them cowards for not speaking up in a time of national crisis.
"I am the only one speaking up; what are the others doing?
"You are all cowards, afraid of being sacked as branch chief, division chief or MP," he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian today.
Sinar Harian hosted a dialogue session for Muhyiddin in Johor Bharu today.
Muhyiddin lamented that there was now a climate of fear that people dared not speak up.
"Everyone is afraid to speak up, even though the country is in its current situation. No one is doing anything.
"Outsiders are asking me, 'what has happened'?" he said.
'I speak up not to bring down the party'
The country's economy has been faltering amid political uncertainties due to scandals plaguing Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Muhyiddin, who is still Umno deputy president, was removed as Deputy Prime Minister in July for his critical stance over Najib's handling of 1MDB, which is struggling to repay its US$11 billion debt.
Najib is also facing calls for resignation over the discovery of RM2.6 billion in his personal bank accounts,
The prime minister had denied taking public funds for personal gain, while his supporters claim the money was a political donation from the Middle East.
Muhyiddin urged Umno leaders to be more courageous by emulating the Prophet Muhammad who would not sit idly by if wrong was being committed.
"When I was in the government, I used my power to give advise and views but they were completely ignored.
"It was as if the deputy prime minister was very stupid.
"I speak up not to bring down the party but I am merely speaking the truth because I am worried about the country's future," he was quoted as saying.