JOHOR BARU, July 8 — Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa should unzip his lips and clarify the existence of a deal to appoint a deputy prime minister as alleged by Bersatu leaders, Umno’s Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said today.
The second-in-command in Johor Umno was responding to Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s assertion on a contentious agreement purportedly reached with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob for several Cabinet posts, including that of the DPM.
The so-called deal was allegedly made just before Ismail Sabri, who is also Umno vice-president, became prime minister.
“If it is true that a political agreement exists between the Umno vice-president and Bersatu, certainly he would inform the party and the party will inform division leaders and the grassroots,” Nur Jazlan said in a Facebook statement, referring to Ismail Sabri.
“But who knows if there may be a political agreement made outside of the party context. Perhaps former BN secretary-general Annuar whose name was mentioned by the Bersatu information chief could elaborate,” Nur Jazlan added.
In a backhanded compliment, the Pulai Umno division chief said Annuar is the best person to clarify as he “loved to be the spokesman for Bersatu and pushed internal stories about Zahid-Anwar and SDs”.
“So better for Annuar to speak about this agreement as he is a living witness,” he said.
Nur Jazlan said that as a division leader, he should rightfully have knowledge of the so-called DPM deal, but insisted that he was in the dark about it.
“Umno members would certainly want to know what the agreement was based on or if it was a personal reason. Because if it was in the party’s name, the entire Umno would need to know the details.
“So let’s just wait for what Annuar and perhaps the Umno ministers will say to enlighten us and clear away doubt,” he added.
Nur Jazlan also questioned the rationale for the appointment of a DPM now, 11 months after Ismail Sabri replaced Muhyiddin as prime minister.
He said bringing up the issue now only put additional pressure on PM Ismail Sabri and wondered how the alleged deal benefits Umno and Malaysians, or if it was only to “certain people” whom he did not name.
Nur Jazlan pointed out that as much as Muhyiddin and his party assert that it was their support that enabled Ismail Sabri to be PM now, Umno MPs have also rallied around the Bera MP.
“Umno MPs have also given their support, but they are not hungry to fill the position. Umno just wants Parliament to be dissolved and the 15th general election to be held immediately,” Nur Jazlan said.
He suggested that Muhyiddin’s insistence is because Bersatu needs to secure its position ahead of national polls.
“Maybe Muhyiddin wants to use the position of deputy prime minister and the minister’s quota to buy the souls of his leaders who are in conflict with some intending to leave Bersatu,” he said.
“He knows that after GE15, Bersatu will be buried and his name only lives in the folds of history or only exists in Wikipedia like Semangat 46,” he added.
He went on at length about Muhyiddin, accusing the former PM of being a hypocrite despite being the son of an Islamic scholar.
“If he wants to support people, he makes a secret agreement and keeps it secret from the people for months.
“Another characteristic of Muhyiddin is that he likes to negotiate behind the scenes if he wants to run for office. That is why after failing to be PM, he is rarely seen in public because he hides behind the scenes for new plans.
“However, when he does not get what he wants, he starts making trouble — negotiating here and there and threatening certain people with the intention of embarrassing them.
“I think it is possible that the real intention of Muhyiddin and the Bersatu faction is to insist on the post of deputy prime minister just to plan a comeback through the same back door, like how Muhyiddin did to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and became PM before this,” said Nur Jazlan.
Muhyiddin first spoke of the contentious DPM deal last Saturday following his meeting with Ismail Sabri, which the former said was to discuss Cabinet appointments.
Three days later, Bersatu information chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan defended his party’s demand for the deputy prime minister’s post after claiming that it was part of the agreement for PN to support Ismail Sabri as prime minister prior to his appointment last August.
At present, the current government does not have a deputy prime minister. However the Cabinet has four senior ministers in place of the deputy prime minister’s post.