SINGAPORE: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday affirmed that Prime Minister Najib Razak continues to have the full backing of the Cabinet and the senior leadership in the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), reports Singaporeâ€™s Today Online.
Speaking at a press interview organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) in Singapore yesterday, Khairy said, â€œWeâ€™ve all given our support to the Prime Minister and party president.â€
Acknowledging that the Prime Minister was taking the brunt of much criticism, especially from former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he said that the Cabinet had decided not to respond to criticisms of a personal nature.
He, however, assured that matters of public interest, including the saga surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) would be addressed comprehensively.
â€œI think people have been fed [with] a lot of allegations in great detail, so we really have to ensure that each and every allegation is answered in a comprehensive way,â€ Khairy was quoted as saying.
â€œThatâ€™s why weâ€™ve asked for a [comprehensive] audit on all the allegations from the PetroSaudi deal to how the liabilities have accumulated.â€
He confirmed that the results of the audit will be debated in Parliament and by the Public Accounts Committee.
He also said that the Prime Minister has given his assurance that anyone found to have embezzled money or committed criminal breach of trust would be prosecuted.
Speaking on bilateral relations between Singapore and Malaysia, Khairy said, â€œI think there is an excessive juxtaposition in Malaysia of where we are, and where Singapore is, vis-a-vis the other.â€
He said that such comparisons were unnecessary.
â€œWe cannot continue to exist as a counterpoint to one another.â€
â€œWe cannot continue to obsess about which path the other one took,â€ he added.
Apart from it being seen as â€œcondescending,â€ he said that â€œit also continues to internalise an â€˜us and themâ€™ world view between Singapore and Malaysia.â€
He preferred to look forward to better bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.
â€œA new bridge would be a symbol for future bilateral relations,â€ Khairy said.
â€œYou should replace it with a straight bridge,â€ he added, noting that both Singapore and Malaysia were in general agreement on the matter while distancing himself from the idea of the â€˜crockedâ€™ bridge mooted by Dr Mahathir.
â€œI think itâ€™s an important symbol,â€ he said claiming that it would bring many benefits including reducing traffic jams and allowing better flow of water along the Johor Straits.
Asked whether he had aspirations to be Prime Minister one day, Khairy responded modestly, â€œNot all of us are trained and brought up in the party to be interested in the top job. Weâ€™re just interested in playing our part.â€-Singapore Today Online