Former Umno man Khairy Jamaluddin today labelled Anwar Ibrahim as a "part-time finance minister", seen as a criticism against the prime minister who holds the important portfolio.
Khairy said this while discussing the DuitNow QR controversy in Keluar Sekejap, the podcast he has been co-hosting with Shahril Hamdan since the duo's fallout with the Umno leadership earlier this year.
He said the controversy over the planned fee for merchants using the QR code to receive payment was something that could have been avoided.
"And in a situation where there is no full-time finance minister and there is a part-time finance minister, I feel that trivial matters like this should not be a burden on the work of our part-time prime minister," Khairy said.
DuitNow QR is a digital payment service by Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd, or PayNet, a company with several major commercial banks as shareholders, with Bank Negara Malaysia having the majority ownership.
Anwar's move to name himself as finance minister late last year was widely criticised as another of his about-turns on reforms.
In the past, his Pakatan Harapan coalition had called for the post not to be in the hands of the prime minister and argued that the 1MDB saga had come about during Najib Razak's time because he was both the prime minister and finance minister controlling the scandal-tainted government company.
Meanwhile, Khairy said in today's edition of the podcast that there was talk of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi being worried about any attempt to appoint Titiwangsa MP Johari Abdul Ghani as the second finance minister, amid expectations of the much-speculated Cabinet reshuffle.
He said this was why Zahid had proposed to the government to reinstate the federal territories ministry, in the hope that Johari, seen as not a loyalist of the Umno chief, would be given that position instead.