PETALING JAYA: No agreement was inked between Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Perikatan Nasional to appoint a deputy prime minister, said Shahril Hamdan.
"As far as I know, there is no agreement.
"If there was one, why are we only hearing about it now?," the Umno information chief was quoted by Utusan Malaysia on Thursday (July 7).
He noted that such talks would have surfaced among Perikatan coalition members if it were so.
"This has never been announced (before) and never been talked about. PAS is also in Perikatan and it has never said anything about this.
"So I believe this is just a claim made up by certain parties," he said.
He also said that Shahril said Ismail Sabri, who is one of Umno’s three vice-presidents, would not give in to such a demand from among Perikatan.
Talk of the agreement was said to have been raised by Perikatan chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
Muhyiddin claimed to have met Ismail Sabri on Saturday (July 2) to discuss Cabinet appointments, including the deputy prime minister’s post which had been agreed upon.
At present, there has been no appointment to the post of Deputy Prime Minister, although four senior ministers were appointed under the Perikatan administration.
Shahril, who is Ismail Sabri's economic advisor, took a swipe at Muhyiddin for allegedly raising the matter recently instead of focusing on his responsibility as chairman of the National Recovery Council.
"The Cabinet and the National Recovery Council should be helping the Prime Minister, not pushing for positions," he said.
He added that it was untimely for such talk to surface in light of the economic challenges.