PONTIAN: Discussions on the Cabinet line-up under the new Prime Minister must involve the presidents of parties making up the unity government, says Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (pic).

He said Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was among those who should be consulted on the appointment of ministers from his party.

“I leave to the party leadership to decide (on who should be in the Cabinet). However, this time, Umno president (Ahmad Zahid) must be consulted on the Cabinet line-up. In the past two Cabinets, he was not.

“During Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration, both the Umno president and deputy president were not consulted. That is why the appointed Cabinet was not in accordance with the party hierarchy,” he said after a dialogue with Umno grassroots leaders at Rumah Citra Sri Pinang, Benut, here yesterday.

Ahmad was responding to a question on the discussion among Umno and other parties on the Cabinet line-up under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“I hope that this time with Anwar as the Prime Minister, the discussion will also involve the 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 parties,” he added.

On whether there had been a name from Umno for the deputy prime minister post, he said this decision must be made by Ahmad Zahid and other party leaders.

“It is fair and reasonable for the party president, the deputy and the leadership to decide who is the best candidate (for the DPM post),” said Ahmad.

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

Among the names talked about for the deputy prime minister post are Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Petra Jaya MP Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Kapit MP Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

On another matter, Ahmad said there was no need for anyone to resign following Barisan’s dismal showing in GE15.

“If people were to take responsibility for what has happened and resign, then many others should also do so. This includes the over 7,000 voting district chairmen, state Umno liaison chiefs, Youth chiefs, Wanita chiefs and Puteri chiefs.

“Do all of them have to also resign? So, there is no need for us to call for anyone to resign. We should instead reflect on what has happened,” he said.

He was commenting on calls for Ahmad Zahid to resign after GE15, including from Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, former Tanjong Karang MP Tan Sri Noh Omar and former party information chief Shahril Hamdan.