KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Feb 2009 :A backbencher today suggested that Datuk SeriAbdullah Ahmad Badawi be given a role as senior minister after he steps down as prime minister next month, the same way Singapore appointed Lee Kuan Yew as minister mentor.
Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) said the move was apt as Abdullah had done a lot of good deeds for the people, country and Parliament throughout his career as a leader.
“When the prime minister relinquishes his post, he will become an ordinary Member of Parliament.
“Where then should he be seated in the Dewan Rakyat? He can’t be sitting next to Kinabatangan (Datuk Bung Moktar Radin) … I don’t think that would be appropriate.
“Can we then follow our neighbour and appoint him as senior minister?” he said, when debating the motion of thanks on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s address in the Dewan Rakyat.
Aziz said the suggestion was apt as Abdullah’s predecessors neither “relinquished their post midway” nor contested in subsequent elections.
Responding to Dr Lo’ Lo’ Mohamad Ghazali (PAS-Titiwangsa), who interjected to ask who had prompted Abdullah to resign, Aziz said no one should cast any suspicion on the leadership transition.
Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi (BN-Batu Pahat) also interjected to say that the power transfer was not an act of backstabbing, but rather a move to ensure stability and prevent any disruption.
Aziz, who paid tribute to Abdullah, said the power transition was a process that had been accepted by the people. — Bernama