Barisan DPM candidate selection must be based on party hierarchy, says Umno

PETALING JAYA: The selection of deputy prime minister (candidates from Barisan Nasional to fill administrative slots in the unity government must be made based on the party hierarchy.

Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Mohd Razlan Rafii (pic) said the decision on the appointment of the deputy prime minister should be made by “returning” to the party’s hierarchy.

In this regard, he said that Barisan chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is the candidate who should be holding the position.

“We leave it to the party, if we follow the party hierarchy, the president will become the deputy prime minister,” said Mohd Razlan as quoted by Sinar Harian.

Mohd Razlan added that he is confident that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the Pakatan Harapan chairman, will discuss and refer to the leadership of the component parties in the unity government on this.

When asked if the election of Ahmad Zahid as DPM will create a polemic following the Bagan Datuk MP’s court cases, Mohd Razlan said that all parties must be fair in their assessment of the matter.

“If you want to say that the president has ongoing court cases, go back to what the Prime Minister said, that it is not taken into account if he has not been convicted. This means that Pakatan will discuss with the component parties,” he said.

“The Prime Minister must know that there are some leaders whose cases were ‘created’ for character assassination,” added Mohd Razlan.

Ahmid Zahid was previously urged to step down after BN’s major loss in the 15th General Election (GE15).

The name of Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan was then touted as the most suitable leader to be appointed as a deputy prime minister in the unity government .

Barisan only won 30 Parliamentary seats compared to the 79 seats won in the 14th General Election in 2018.

On Nov 24, the unity government was formed with a coalition between PH, BN, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

Anwar gave his assurance that two positions of DPM would be created under his Cabinet among the representatives of the components of the unity government .

He said the position of the Deputy Prime Minister is expected to be given to the other strongest bloc in the unity government, which are BN and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

Anwar said it was a common practice in each government because the Prime Minister was from Pakatan, usually the DPM (would be elected) from other strong component parties.