He said Utusan has been the voice of the Malays and Malaysians in conveying the people's views on various issues.
This, said Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president, was never meant to damage national unity.
"We have to remain rational. I don't know why MCA wants to do this, as I was not in Malaysia then.
"Is it because MCA is worried that what was reported in Utusan can spark a riot?" Muhyiddin said, adding that Utusan only reported what the Malays felt.
He was responding to MCA's call to the people to boycott the Malay daily for calling for a '1Melayu, 1Bumi' movement instead of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's 1Malaysia campaign.
Muyhiddin told reporters after launching the Kuala Lumpur international book fair that it was improper of the MCA to call for the boycott of Utusan.
"I don't think it is proper for us to call for people not to read Utusan. What is it so afraid of?" Muhyiddin asked.
“I'm sure other media also have their pro and cons, but we can't stop certain media like Utusan from reporting what it wants to report
“But there are limits. The first thing is the law, the second thing is (you) cannot touch on the issues that can be deemed as racial and sensitive, ” Muhyiddin said.
'Boycott won't be effective'
The calls to boycott Utusan, he said would not succeed and the Malay daily would continue with its reporting job.
“To read the paper or not is an individual decision, if you want to (boycott), do lah, but it will not be effective at all.
“The more you ask people to boycott, the more people will want to read, so why? Are you afraid of this?” he asked.
However, Muhyiddin skirted the question whether he supported the '1Melayu, 1Bumi' movement.
The calls for '1Melayu, 1Bumi' movement, he said, were a natural response after certain parties saw the voting trend in Sarawak state election, where most of the Chinese voted for opposition.
“This is their right to do, but we as a government cannot say 'do lah', or else we will have '1India', '1Chinese', '1Bengali', and '1Mat Salleh' in the future,” he said.
“To me, it is a feeling of worry and a reaction to the latest political trend, which brings the Chinese out of mainstream politics.”
He also warned the Chinese dailies not to manipulate his statement, or they would have to face the music.
Utusan assistant editor-in-chief Zaini Hassan, in his 'Cuit' column on April 20, said the DAP had managed to unite the Chinese politically and, in his opinion, the Malays should launch the "1Melayu, 1Bumi" unity movement.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said the government had nothing to do with the '1Melayu, 1Bumi' movement proposed by Utusan.
"Or is Najib Prime Minister for 1Malaysia while Muhyiddin is deputy prime minister for 1Melayu? Is Najib's 1Malaysia only meant for non-Malays while Muhyiddin's 1Melayu reserved for Malays?"