UPDATED 5:25 PM | Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali disagreed that the role of his colleague, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, has been reduced to that of a mere 'bookkeeper'.
"This is the version raised by the MCA (lawmaker). I am not going to comment," Azmin told the media when met at the Parliament lobby. "Certainly I am not going to agree with MCA."
Last week, MCA Ayer Hitam parliamentarian Wee Ka Siong pointed out the anomaly in the cabinet of the Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Wee said the finance minister's powers have been diluted with the creation of the Economic Affairs Ministry, which is helmed by Azmin, after several important departments and agencies were shifted out from the Treasury.
"Public perception is that the finance minister's powers have been reduced to that of a bookkeeper, given that the agencies previously under the Finance Ministry have been transferred to Azmin's Economic Affairs Ministry, which has more power,” Wee said.
It was reported several entities including Petronas, Khazanah and PNS (Permodalan Nasional Berhad), which previously had been under the treasury, have been transferred to the Economic Affairs Ministry.
It as also reported that Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PNB), Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and Tabung Haji had been shifted to the Prime Minister's Department.