Pagoh Umno today took aim at party president Najib Abdul Razak for delegating Muhyiddin Yassin's suspension as Umno deputy president instead of doing it himself.
Najib as well as Umno vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had left the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday, paving way for Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussain, a Johor leader, to chair the meeting which suspended Muhyiddin.
"Pagoh Umno regrets that the Umno vice-president from Johor was made to chair the meeting to suspend Muhyiddin.
"This shows that the party president continues to divide Johor Umno leaders and adopts an attitude of casting the stone but hiding the hand ( membaling batu sembunyi tangan )," it said in a statement today.
The Malay proverb is used to describe someone who refuses to take responsibility for ones own actions.
Pagoh Umno, which held a meeting chaired by its deputy chief Ismail Mohamed to discuss Muhyiddin's suspension today, decided to reject the Umno supreme council's suspension which it said did not abide by procedure.
The division, whose chief is Muhyiddin, accused Najib of abusing the Umno supreme council and party constitution which sidelined democratic practices in the party.
"Muhyiddin was elected by the party members throughout the county therefore the Umno supreme council has betrayed Umno members," it said.
Muhyiddin, who is Pagoh MP, was in July last year removed as deputy prime minister for his criticism of Najib.
However, Muhyiddin recently stepped up his criticism after attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali refused to prosecute Najib for receiving RM42 million from state-owned SRC International and RM2.6 billion from an offshore company in his personal bank accounts.
Pagoh Umno said that alleged criminal wrongdoing raised by Muhyiddin was based on reports by credible agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara governor and former attorney-general.
The division also demanded that the Umno supreme council take similar action against its member Nazri Abdul Aziz for his vehement criticism of Muhyiddin, having described the suspended Umno leader as a "dog" biting at the party's leg.
"Pagoh Umno will continue to stand firm with Muhyiddin in his struggle for truth," it said.