Marzuki Mohamad felt compelled to set the record straight on the accusation that his boss, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, made an eleventh-hour U-turn which contradicted the cabinet's decision not to reshuffle the Johor executive council.
“Although I was hesitant to come forward and explain as this is an internal party matter, I feel responsible to state the truth due to the slander against Muhyiddin,” said Marzuki, who's Muhyiddin's special functions officer at the Home Ministry, in a Facebook posting.
Recalling the events which led to the reshuffle, Marzuki said Dr Sahruddin Jamal, who was sworn in as Johor menteri besar on April 13, met Muhyiddin seven days later to seek his advice on the formation of a new exco.
“I was present during this meeting, where Muhyiddin offered general advice that based on the state constitution, the menteri besar is entitled to advise the ruler on the exco lineup.
“The menteri besar told Muhyiddin he wanted a team which he can work with to administer the state. This is the same as what the menteri besar told the media.
“Because the state constitution empowers the menteri besar to nominate those to be appointed as exco members, Muhyiddin left the matter to the menteri besar's discretion,” he added.
Marzuki said Muhyiddin, who is also home minister, was abroad when the cabinet made the decision that the exco should not be revamped.
“The decision was not conveyed to Muhyiddin.
“He only found out about it from (Bersatu Youth chief) Syed Saddiq (Abdul Rahman) on April 22, several hours before the (emergency) Bersatu supreme council meeting.
“I believe if he had known the decision earlier, he would have surely advised the menteri besar to abide by the cabinet's decision,” he added.
Yesterday, Malaysiakini quoted a source as claiming that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the supreme council meeting that he had considered resigning when the three new exco members were sworn in that morning.
Sources also told Malaysiakini that Muhyiddin had apologised to Mahathir and explained the reshuffle issue during the meeting.
Meanwhile, Marzuki also addressed the claim that Muhyiddin requested an audience with Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar on April 21 just to present the Johor ruler with the exco candidates.
“I had explained in a previous article before the exco reshuffle that Muhyiddin requested the audience because he was unable to meet the ruler to present the name of the new menteri besar because he (Muhyiddin) was abroad at the time.
“It had nothing to do with the exco reshuffle. As a former Johor menteri besar, Muhyiddin is aware that he does not have the power to advise the sultan about the formation of the exco. That is within the powers of the (current) menteri besar,” he added.
Prior to Sahruddin being sworn-in, Sultan Ibrahim reportedly set a precondition for the incoming menteri besar to revamp the exco line-up.
Prior to this, Mahathir had said that if rulers decided on positions, then Malaysia would cease to be a democratic nation.