PETALING JAYA: The appointment of Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to the second most powerful position in government is a signal to the world that Malaysia tolerates corruption, says a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leader.
Vice Chairman of Bersekutu Wing of Bersatu Dr Robert Ling Kui Ee said this in a statement issued after the announcement of the new Cabinet by Anwar on Friday (Dec 2).
He said that the appointment of Ahmad Zahid was a betrayal of voters by Pakatan Harapan and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He also said that the appointment of Ahmad Zahid with many corruption charges in court to the post will impact Malaysia's global financial standing.
"Anwar announced Ahmad Zahid as the new deputy prime minister of Malaysia. Ahmad Zahid faces 47 corruption charges at the Kuala Lumpur High Court. This includes 12 counts of criminal breach of trust, 27 money-laundering charges and eight bribery charges.
"Never before in the history of Malaysia has a person facing corruption charges been appointed to the second most powerful position in government.
"It is nothing less than a monumental shame and absolute disgrace to our nation and utter betrayal of all Malaysians, both those who voted for Pakatan and those who did not.
"It is positive proof that Anwar is not a real reformist, but a person to whom power and political expediency takes priority over ethics and good governance. To appoint a politician facing so many serious charges as deputy prime minister is the polar opposite of good governance.
"The impact upon investors and Malaysia’s financial standing will be incalculably damaging. The signal sent out internationally is that Malaysia tolerates corruption.
Our stand against corruption is uncompromising; Perikatan Nasional and its chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had consistently refused to make deals with Ahmad Zahid.
"Now we know why Ahmad Zahid was determined and desperate to support Pakatan and Anwar to form a government.
"He has received his reward for bringing Barisan into this cynical embrace with Pakatan and helped Anwar achieve his desperate ambition to be PM," said Ling.
Anwar today unveiled his Cabinet of 28 ministers and they are expected to be sworn in on Saturday (Dec 3) at Istana Negara.