PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional leaders have been having a field day after Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng showed they were not on the same wavelength over the cancellation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, increasingly described online as the "King of Trolls", fired the first salvo.
The former prime minister said neither Azmin nor Lim had a dedicated WhatsApp group.
"However, the telephone has been around since 1876.
"Guang Eng, here is Azmin's office number – 03-88727170. Azmin, here is Guan Eng's office number – 03-88823007.
"At least call once in a while," Najib posted on Facebook on Saturday (Jan 26).
Earlier Saturday (Jan 26), Azmin said that the Cabinet decided to cancel ECRL project because the country could not afford the RM500mil annual interest payment.
However later that same day, Lim said he was shocked by Azmin's announcement, saying that his colleague was not at the Cabinet meeting that made the decision that was based on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's intentions, who was overseas at the time.
"… Azmin was not in the last Cabinet meeting. I am acting under the instruction of Tun (Dr Mahathir) and the Cabinet," Lim told the press.
However, he immediately backtracked, saying, "Sorry, I wouldn't say he (Azmin) wasn't at the Cabinet meeting. What I meant is that he wasn't privy to the decision made by Tun (Dr Mahathir)".
When pressed to confirm whether Azmin attended the meeting or not, Lim said: "I don't want to say that as it may lead to all kinds of unhealthy perception".
"All I want to say is that maybe he was not informed of the Prime Minister's intentions," he said, adding that a statement will be issued, subject to Dr Mahathir's instructions.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong also took the two Pakatan Harapan ministers to task, saying Malaysia's "Day of Shocks" would no longer be celebrated on Sept 3 like last year – instead it falls on Jan 26.
"(Lim) Guan Eng is shocked by Azmin's announcement – well, I am shocked that senior ministers are having a war of words in the media.
"According to (Lim), Azmin did not attend the Cabinet meeting on Thursday. Such meetings are usually held on Wednesdays, but how come it is now on Thursdays," Dr Wee posted on his Facebook page.
The "Day of Shocks" was in reference to the Penang High Court decision last September to acquit Lim of all his corruption charges.
In response, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said it was shocked by the court decision.
Lim's lawyer Ramkarpal Singh, countered: "I am shocked that the MACC is shocked by the decision.
"They (the MACC) obviously had knowledge and had been informed that the charges would be withdrawn, as the entire process involves the MACC," he said.
When asked about the decision at a press conference in Brunei, Dr Mahathir quipped: "They (the MACC) have a right to be shocked. If they want to be shocked, they can be shocked. I am also shocked".
Malaysia seeks new contractor for East Coast Rail Link
Putrajaya to terminate ECRL project, says Chinese daily
Source: Decision to terminate ECRL made much earlier, not yesterday (Jan 24)
Source: Govt chose to axe rail project a month after rise to power
Azmin: ECRL project scrapped due to RM500mil annual interest