KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — The appointment of Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan as Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general was disputed by its component parties MCA and MIC.
Sources familiar with a BN meeting that took place on Thursday told Malay Mail that both component parties had opposed Ahmad’s appointment in January as they were not consulted on the matter prior to the announcement.
“Both MCA and MIC want Umno to discuss with them before such decisions are made,” said the source without elaborating further.
On January 5, Ahmad confirmed that he had replaced Tan Sri Annuar Musa as BN’s secretary-general.
Ahmad, who is also the Umno secretary-general, said the appointment does not mean that Annuar had been sacked, but clarified that he merely replaced the latter.
The next day, Annuar disputed the legitimacy of his dismissal because it was not made through a BN meeting with all the top leadership of MIC and MCA.
The Ketereh Member of Parliament only found out about the dismissal through the media.
Another source said that both MCA and MIC had then requested for a meeting to discuss both the replacement of Annuar and the appointment of a new secretary-general if any.
“BN appointment should be on consensus,” said the source on the condition of anonymity.
Malay Mail was also told that MIC and BN had snubbed a meeting with Umno scheduled in early January in protest of Ahmad’s appointment.
Yesterday, BN secretariat suspended its chief media officer for a month for releasing what it claimed to be an unapproved and inaccurate press statement in the name of BN chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
BN executive secretary Datuk Mohamad Sahfri Ab Aziz, in a statement, said the decision was taken after hearing the views of an internal investigation committee that was set up to discuss the matter.
“We discussed the BN chairman’s media release on the decisions made at the BN Supreme Council meeting, which has been deemed inaccurate and released without approval by the party’s secretariat.”
He said Ahmad Zahid, who is Umno president, had also strictly pointed out that the confusion over the statement was due to errors made by an officer in the BN secretariat.
Mohamad Sahfri said the media officer’s suspension was also to allow the internal investigation to be carried out in a more detailed and effective manner.
The media statement issued yesterday had touched on BN’s appeal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah for a Parliament session to be called immediately.