Bersatu leader Dr Afif Bahardin today asked if Anwar Ibrahim would sack his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi if the Umno president is found guilty of corruption, following the prime minister's remarks that ministers will be immediately dismissed if they are found to be involved in graft.
Afif, the Shah Alam Bersatu deputy division chief, also compared Anwar's appointment of Zahid to the second highest office to his stand on corruption, given the string of charges faced by Zahid in court.
"Anwar’s claim that he will sack ministers tainted with corruption appears to be an attempt to deflect public concern and outrage over Zahid’s shocking appointment as deputy prime minister," he added.
"If Zahid is convicted by the Kuala Lumpur High Court of the charges of corruption in the ongoing cases, will Anwar sack him immediately? Or will Anwar give the excuse that Zahid can stay as deputy prime minister pending appeals to Court of Appeal and Federal Court?"
Anwar had said in a speech on Dec 11 that anyone involved in bribery or the misuse of power would be immediately removed from his Cabinet.
"I have also informed all component party leaders that if any minister is involved in corruption, I will seek their mandate to sack them immediately," he was reported as saying.
Zahid, who was also given the rural and regional development portfolio in the Cabinet, was acquitted in October of 40 graft charges in the foreign visa system case.
However, he still faces 47 other charges related to the misuse of funds from charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi.
In his statement today, Afif also asked if Anwar would sack any ministers who were likewise charged in court with corruption.
"If the answer to the above is affirmative, why is it that he appointed Zahid as deputy prime minister, who was already charged? If not, then Anwar’s claim that he will sack ministers with corruption cases is proven false," he added.
"Anwar must be precise and clear on this as he has already breached good governance by appointing Zahid who is facing multiple corruption charges."