BENTONG: The current power-sharing formula practised by Barisan Nasional has been proven successful and one that has made the coalition strong, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
He said the appointment of chief ministers or other top posts was based on the Barisan spirit of cooperation and understanding, and this concept had been found to be a successful formula for the coalition.
“The Barisan is strong because all the component parties have successfully defended this spirit of power-sharing and cooperation among the races.
“There’s no need to blow up this matter,” Najib told reporters after opening the Bentong Umno division delegates meeting here yesterday.
Najib, who is Barisan deputy chairman and Umno deputy president, said the appointment of a chief minister was the prerogative of the Prime Minister and the Barisan supreme council.
“(The rotation of the Penang chief minister’s post) is not new. It has been raised several times before,” Najib said.
Bukit Mertajam Umno division chief Senator Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir had suggested that the Penang chief minister’s post be rotated among the Barisan parties, just like in Sabah, to prove that there was tolerance and understanding among the component parties.
In Penang, Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon is keeping mum on the issue.
“Let others comment as this relates to my position. It is not proper for me to comment and I don’t want to appear as tamak kuasa (greedy for power),” he said when closing the Gerakan Youth and Wanita National Young Leaders Workshop yesterday.
He said state administration in a country full of diversity was akin to taking care of an egg which was “so easy to break and difficult to keep intact.”
Wanita Gerakan chief Datuk Rhina Bhar said the rotation system in Sabah was a failure because the frequent change of leadership did not allow effective implementation of plans.
She said Musa’s comments also implied that the state Bumiputra Steering Committee and the four Umno state executive councillors were not doing their job.
The Bukit Mertajam Gerakan division has questioned Musa's motive.
“We cannot understand why he should propose a system which has been proven a failure to be practised in Penang,” its chief Datuk Tan Kim Sneah said in a statement yesterday.
In Putrajaya, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said rotating a state’s top post has its pros and cons.
However, he said that rotating the chief minister’s post on a long-term basis would not be beneficial.
“Thankfully, the system in Sabah has been abolished.”