Hishammuddin's new appointment was Zahid's suggestion: Najib

SYED UMAR ARIFF


KUALA LUMPUR: Do not create friction between Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein over the latter's appointment as Minister with Special Functions, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak warned today.

Najib cautioned against any attempt to drive a wedge between the two, stressing that it was, in fact, the Deputy Prime Minister's suggestion for Hishammuddin to be appointed to the post.

"I had been discussing the (Special Functions Minister position) with Zahid for months. And then, it was Zahid who suggested that Hishammuddin be awarded the post.

"So please, do not create any friction between them," Najib said in his speech to launch Barisan Nasional's largest election machinery, JR Plus, today.

Assuring the audience of Zahid's and Hishammuddin's strong camaraderie, Najib pointed out that the two – who were in attendance at the launch – were obviously very friendly with each other onstage, during his speech.

"Look at them. There is no friction and (because of Zahid's suggestion), they are really nice and can sit next to each other.

"The only thing they haven't done is kiss each other!" quipped Najib, to uproarious laughter from some 5,000 party members at the Dewan Merdeka, PWTC, here.

Several quarters – particularly members of the opposition – have pointed to Hishammuddin's recent appointment as an indication that he is posed to supersede Zahid's role in the near future.