KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday cancelled an official trip to the Middle East on short notice, a day after Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi was asked by senior Umno leaders to take early retirement.
That has sparked speculation that the Prime Minister may leave office sooner rather than later, perhaps even before the December party polls.
Datuk Seri Najib’s aides said he had originally been scheduled to leave yesterday for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and not return until early next month.
Instead, he will go directly to New York next Thursday to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr Najib said: ‘I have to reorganise my schedule so that I can move into the Finance Ministry on Monday and start work, particularly at a time of uncertainty in the world economy and world stock markets.’ He was appointed Finance Minister by Datuk Seri Abdullah on Wednesday.