The writing is on the wall for Zahid, says former minister


PETALING JAYA: A former Umno minister last night posted a series of tweets about Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, following Hishammuddin Hussein’s appointment as the special functions minister.

The tweets by former information minister Zainuddin Maidin included one which said: “Deputy Prime Minister Dr Zahid Hamidi can now read the writing on the wall.”

They were accompanied by photos suggesting that he and Zahid have enjoyed a close friendship.

Zainuddin also said after Defence Minister Hishammuddin’s second portfolio was announced, the public’s reaction was “padan muka Zahid” (serves Zahid right).

“Anyway, Zahid is too late,” he added, without explaining further.

“(But) don’t worry, be happy, there is still tomorrow.

“Congratulations Hishammuddin.”

Since Prime Minister Najib Razak made the announcement yesterday afternoon, pundits have speculated on Hishammuddin’s appointment and Zahid’s fate.

Some have suggested that Hishammuddin, and not Zahid, will take over the post of prime minister after the 14th general election, expected later this year.

Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub had even suggested that the appointment might be a sign that Najib was planning his exit move and that Zahid might be booted out of the cabinet.

Besides Hishammuddin, there have been several other ministers who have held the special functions portfolio in the past.

They include Ghazali Shafie, who was appointed in 1970 in then prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein’s cabinet.

Former Umno treasurer Daim Zainuddin was appointed in Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s cabinet as a special functions minister on June 26, 1998.

And Mohammad Effendi Norwawi was appointed in 2004, under then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

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