‘Who’ll lead the country with the PM and DPM away?’

KUALA LUMPUR: The absence of both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for two days this week has raised questions about who will lead the country in their absence.

Ipoh Timur MP and DAP adviser, Lim Kit Siang, said for as long as he could remember, such a situation had never occurred.

“It has been 30 years or longer since both the Prime Minister and deputy have been out of the country.”

In a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Monday, Lim said Abdullah was in Uzbekistan for a four-day official visit accompanied by his wife and Cabinet ministers.

“On Tuesday, Najib will leave with another team of Cabinet ministers for the 16th Apec Economic Leaders Meeting in Lima, Peru.”

Lim said Abdullah would only return on Friday while Najib is expected to continue to New York after Peru and will only return early next month.

“This would mean that for at least two days, both leaders will be out of the country. Why has this standing rule been broken?”

Lim asked who would be the acting Prime Minister as even Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar would be with Najib in Peru.

“Can it be the most senior minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok or the newly elected MCA president, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat?”

Lim said he would also like the Prime Minister’s Office to disclose the number of times in the past 30 years when both the prime minister and his deputy had been out of the country.

source:- http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/11/17/nation/20081117125857&sec=nation

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