KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is speculated to be appointed as the Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary general soon.
The former UMNO vice-president has reportedly been endorsed by all three BN partners as the right person to steer the coalition forward to face the next 15th General Election (GE15).
BN component parties’ presidents Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO), Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran (MIC) and Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (MCA) are learnt have deliberated on Hishammuddin’s imminent appointment during a closed door meeting on Tuesday night.
Online portal reported that all three component leaders had unanimously agreed to appoint Sembrong MP Hishammuddin as BN secretary general to inject the much needed impetus for the coalition.
The portal quoted Vigneswaran as saying that he and Ka Siong would welcome Hishammuddin’s appointment.
Vigneswaran has also reportedly said that the appointment shall be formalised in accordance with BN constitution.
Ahmad Zahid, the BN national chairman, is expected to make the announcement once the BN supreme council had endorsed Hishammuddin’s appointment.
Nonetheless, Hishammuddin’s appointment, if it happens, could raise a few eyebrows as until recently he was speculated to be working on a pact with Tun Mahathir Mohamad to stop PKR president Anwar Ibrahim from becoming the country’s 8th Prime Minister (PM8).
Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor is the current BN secretary-general.
For a while , Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz was appointed by Ahmad Zahid as BN secretary general in Oct 2018.
However, Nazri was stripped off his position in March this year after MIC and MCA denounced his appointment as unconstitutional.
If appointed, Hishammuddin will face a major task to restructure and reorganise BN into an effective, dynamic and constructive opposition political outfit in the country.
Following its electoral defeat in GE14 on May 9, 2018, in which the coalition was knocked off from federal power for the first time, BN has not really lived up to expectations as an opposition block.
Public perception is that BN MPs, including Hishammuddin, have not performed well as opposition lawmakers in and out of Parliament.
Some of Umno’s current 38 MPs were said to be trying to clinch political deals with certain Pakatan Harapan leaders to return to power.
Many were seen more keen to collaborate with PAS to recapture Putrajaya in GE15 rather than executing their filial duty with a strong sense responsibility and professionalism required of their elected position.
Many observers felt BN and its component parties have somehow managed to politically bounce back in the last 18 months largely due to combined factors of former Premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s growing popularity and public trust deficit on PH federal ruling coalition under PM Mahathir. – NTHQiBord, 28 Ogos 2019.