KUALA LUMPUR― The appointment of Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as Minister with Special Functions in the Prime Minister’s Department was on the recommendation of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Najib said the matter was discussed with Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, for months before he announced the appointment on Wednesday.
“That’s why I want to say this, let there be no parties trying to pit Datuk (Seri) Hisham (Hishammuddin) against and Datuk (Seri) Zahid (Ahmad Zahid).
“I had discussed (this) with Datuk (Seri) Zahid for months before I announced Datuk (Seri) Hisham as Defence Minister and (Minister) With Special Functions. In fact, it was Datuk (Seri) Zahid who proposed Datuk (Seri) Hisham,” he said when launching Jentera Jalinan Rakyat Plus (JR Plus) at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.
Also present were the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Ahmad Zahid, the top leadership of Umno and its wings and leaders of Barisan Nasional component parties.
Najib announced the appointment in a statement on Wednesday. The appointment allows Hishammuddin, who is also Umno vice president, to execute his new duties apart from his responsibilities as defence minister.
Commenting further, Najib said the relations between the two leaders were very good.
“There are no problems when the leaders of Wanita Umno, Umno Youth and Puteri Umno work as a united team …We also have consensus in Barisan Nasional (BN). The retreat that we held in Janda Baik recently was very successful, it brought about a different kind of spirit.
“We used to organise programmes separately but from now on, we will hold more programmes on the spirit of BN,” he said.
The prime minister also said that the existing top leadership of Umno and its wings must be united and trust one another.
On Aug 7, 2009, the BN had launched Jalinan Rakyat to replace the ‘Konsep Ketua 10’ (K10) initiative which was employed by Wanita Umno as a strategic way to get close to the people.
JR PLUS will harness the election machineries of Wanita Umno, Umno Youth and Puteri Umno as will as those of the BN components and their wings towards facing the 14th General Election which must be called by June next year.