PETALING JAYA: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's demand for the deputy prime minister’s post is an unfulfilled promise, says its information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan.
He said the deputy prime minister’s post was part of the coalition agreement for Perikatan Nasional to support Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the premier.
Wan Saiful also claimed that Umno’s Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa was a witness of the agreement and had been next to Ismail Sabri at the occasion.
The claims by Wan Saiful came after Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan in an interview on Thursday (July 7) denied that Ismail Sabri had signed an agreement with Perikatan to appoint a deputy prime minister from the coalition.
Wan Saiful also said that perhaps Shahril's honesty was in question as some people have accused him of being Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's “spy” in the Prime Minister's Office.
Shahril is the economic director in the Prime Minister's Office.
"It seems that there are things that the Prime Minister has not trusted Shahril enough to share with him. The witness to the coalition agreement next to the Prime Minister was Tan Sri Annuar Musa," said Wan Saiful in a statement on Facebook on Thursday (July 7).
He also said that a coalition agreement is the best practice adopted by Ismail Sabri and that it is common in countries with more mature democracies to have a written coalition agreement in order to form a coalition.
Wan Saiful said that when Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin became the prime minister, Umno sent letters containing the names of candidates that the party wanted to nominate for various positions.
"We didn't say that Umno is crazy about power because that is the correct best practice. When Perikatan sends a list of names, that is normal. And when Perikatan refers to the coalition agreement, that is also normal," said Wan Saiful.
He added that fulfilling promises is an essential element of integrity, and that Muhyiddin during his tenure as premier had fulfilled his promise to appoint Umno members to the posts of ministers, deputy ministers, chairman and board members.
"The integrity of the Prime Minister is being tested. Is he a man of his word or not,” said Wan Saiful.