Include Zahid in talks on Cabinet line-up, says Umno sec-gen

PONTIAN: Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should be included in discussions on the new Cabinet line-up, says Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

The Umno secretary-general said Ahmad Zahid was not consulted on this during Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.

“I leave it to the party leadership to decide (who should be in the Cabinet). However, this time, the party president must be consulted. In the past two Cabinets, he was not.

“During Muhyiddin’s administration, neither Umno’s president nor deputy president was consulted. That is why the appointed Cabinet was not in accordance with the party hierarchy,” he said after a dialogue with party grassroots leaders in Rumah Citra Sri Pinang, Benut on Sunday (Nov 27).

The media had asked him if there had been any discussions with Umno on the Cabinet line-up under new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“I hope that this time, with Anwar as Prime Minister, the discussion will also involve party leadership and the president.

“This is so that those appointed to the Cabinet will represent the voice of the party. It is for the benefit of all,” he added.

On a potential deputy prime minister candidate from Umno, he said the decision would come from Ahmad Zahid and party leaders.

“It is fair and reasonable for the president, deputy and leadership to decide who is the best candidate,” he said.

Following his appointment as 10th Prime Minister, Anwar had announced that his Cabinet would be leaner, with ministers receiving reduced salaries.

Speculation is rife that Umno deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan is among the front-runners for a deputy prime minister’s post.