SIPITANG – The position of deputy prime minister appears to be very important to the Opposition, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic).
The Prime Minister added that it was strange that the Opposition had only agreed on who would become deputy prime minister should Pakatan Harapan win in the next general election.
“They cannot agree on who will become the prime minister but only on the deputy. Who will (the prime minister) be? Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin?
“So is this a case of the deputy deciding who is to be prime minister?” Najib said, adding that this was nothing short of an “Ali Baba” agreement.
The Prime Minister was speaking on Saturday during the launch of the first phase of the Pan Borneo Highway at Sindumin, some 140km from Kota Kinabalu.
He said if this were to happen, it would be nothing short of a political arrangement of convenience.
It had been reported that there is an agreement within Pakatan Harapan for DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang to assume the post of deputy prime minister should the Opposition win in the next general election.
In a statement on Jan 25, the Prime Minister’s press secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad said it was necessary for Kit Siang to clarify if there is an arrangement for him to be made deputy prime minister and finance minister should Pakatan come to power.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, however, said that DAP had never asked for the deputy prime minister’s post.
In his speech on Saturday, Najib added that the Opposition is prone to making empty promises.
“In the peninsula, we say they are ‘temberang’ or prone at exaggerating or making empty promises,” Najib said.
He added that Barisan Nasional had never promised “the moon and the stars” to Malaysians but instead worked to fulfil its aspirations.
It was for this reason he said that the Federal Government had embarked on the RM12bil Pan Borneo Highway project stretching 1,236km.
“My predecessor, who was in power for 22 years only, built the North-South Expressway in the peninsula while Sabahans and Sarawakians could only watch,” Najib said, referring to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said the Pan Borneo Highway would not only provide better road links but would also be the impetus for the creation of an additional 400,000 jobs in Sabah.
The first phase of the highway, stretching nearly 29km, from Sindumin to Kampung Melalia in Sipitang, will be constructed at a cost of some RM600mil.
Also present at the event were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.