PETALING JAYA, 13 NOV 2008: A state Gerakan youth chief has proposed that any Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council member from any component party be eligible to become Malaysia’s prime minister and deputy prime minister.
The country’s top two leadership positions should also be filled through an election within the BN supreme council, Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang said today.
In a press statement, he said the BN should spearhead change in the way the posts are filled.
He was responding to remarks by some politicians, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, that any Malaysian could be premier, following Barack Obama’s historic win as US president on 4 Nov.
“Appointments of the prime minister and deputy prime minister must be approved by voting within the BN supreme council. Any member of the supreme council from any component party can also be prime minister and deputy prime minister,” Tan said.
He said the BN should practise this because the prime minister and deputy prime minister represented all Malaysians.
“As such, the BN should be more flexible in choosing the PM and DPM. It should not be determined by the internal election of a major component party in the BN,” Tan said, referring to Umno.
Following Obama’s win, Abdullah said on 6 Nov that a non-Malay prime minister was possible as it was up to the people’s choice.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also said on 12 Nov that anyone could become the premier as long as the person was leader of the majority party. However, he added that Malaysia was not yet ready for multiracial political parties.