Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan’s redesignation as foreign minister will weaken his position in the party and benefit party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, claims Bersatu’s Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

The Tasek Gelugor MP said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s decision to move Mohamad from the defence ministry to the foreign ministry would help Zahid.

“The foreign ministry is important for the country but it is not (a) strategic (portfolio) for someone who can challenge Zahid for the Umno presidency,” he said in commenting on today’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Wan Saiful said the foreign minister’s post would require Mohamad, better known as Tok Mat, to travel overseas for extended periods.

He claimed this would allow Zahid to strengthen his influence in the party.

“So, even though Mohamad is performing an important service to the nation, his position in Umno is weakening.”

Mohamad was among several Umno leaders reassigned to new portfolios.

Umno vice-president Khaled Nordin, the former higher education minister is taking over the defence portfolio, while former foreign minister Zambry Abdul Kadir takes over from Khaled.

Wan Saiful also criticised Anwar for increasing the size of the Cabinet and the appointment of former EPF chief executive officer Amir Hamzah Azizan as the second finance minister, saying it showed he did not have faith in his backbenchers.

Source : FMT

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