While the Umno supreme council meeting slated for later today may take action against its deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir warns that any such move would be 'the final nail in Umno's coffin'.
He said if Muhyiddin was dropped from his position or suspended from the party, it would demonstrate that all values and principles espoused by the party were dead.
He said when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak sacked Muhyiddin from his cabinet, the move had disappointed a lot of people.
The Umno supreme council is expected to meet this afternoon, with council member Nazri Abdul Aziz intending to propose that the party's disciplinary board suspend Muhyiddin for his incessant outbursts against Najib.
Mukhriz, in his statement today, said no matter what the reason, an elected party leader could not simply be removed from his position.
He said the allegations made by the deputy president and by other critics within the party could not be accepted as an excuse to move against them.
"The Umno constitution doesn't stop members or leaders from questioning issues raised by the people.
"Therefore, questioning a major issue cannot be treated as a wrong move."
Mukhriz recalled party vice-president Mohd Shafie Apdal's comment that no action was taken against critics during Mukhriz's father ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad's time when he was challenged in the 1987 party election.
He recalled that then Umno deputy president Musa Hitam still officiated the Youth and Wanita general assemblies that year.
"In contrast, Muhyiddin was prevented from officiating the three wings' assembly recently to prevent him from speaking out."
Mukhriz also said said Umno was using all sorts of unreasonable excuses in answering questions involving 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation and SRC funds, amongst others.
On top of that, he said they were taking measures to ensure that the investigations into these issues by various government agencies did not succeed.
Mukhriz also lambasted certain Umno leaders who said in questioning the leadership, the grassroots were trying to split the party.
He added he didn't expect the Umno supreme council to do anything good for the party and hoped that Muhyddin wouldn't be vilified.
He reminded party leaders that their actions were being watched by society, including the youth.
"Are we aware that the youth have expressed disgust and hate towards Umno due to the top leader's action?
"If Muhyiddin is victimised, I believe many Umno members will quit the party, what more those fence-sitters who have been in support of Umno.
"This is the message sent to me by many Malays," said Mukhriz.