Malaysiakini : Ministers chosen to prevent Sheraton 2.0.
Anwar unveils his cabinet - Zahid DPM I, Fadillah DPM II
My immediate sentiment was acute disappointment as I could not shake
off the feeling that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was forced into a
corner, daggers in his front and back.
Nevertheless, he made a
good show of a most difficult situation and managed to pull out a
somewhat credible cabinet from his hat. For that achievement, well done,
The plus points include PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution
Ismail as home affairs minister. That should put the fear of the Lord
into quite a few unsavoury characters.
Anthony Loke for transport minister is also appropriate - he can now put
MCA president Wee Ka Siong on a slow boat to Timbuktu where PAS
president Abdul Hadi Awang would be hiding.
That obnoxious BN
chairperson and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi being exiled to the
boondocks of the Rural and Regional Development Ministry is a welcome
But the unkindest cut of all, the most bitter pill we
have to grit our teeth and swallow, is the recall of Tengku Zafrul Abdul
Aziz. Why? He had a far-from-impressive term at the Finance Ministry. He must be having plenty of powerful people backing him.
As a philosopher told me, beggars cannot be choosers, Lucifer also is
a necessary evil. Maybe. But losers should not be ministers.
It may not have been an easy decision for Anwar to name his cabinet. At
this juncture, it is unwise to make adverse comments without truly
knowing the background of each cabinet minister.
Surely the profile of every cabinet appointee would have been vetted by the Intelligence Division before their appointment.
should not be an issue; many may not want to accept the reasoning that
without his influence, Umno or BN may have swung to the other side. We
would have all become history.
By Umno staying stubbornly
independent, its relevance may amount to self-termination by the next
general election (GE). Admittedly, Umno’s survival depends on its tie-up
with Pakatan Harapan.
The cabinet has been named, now let us
support the PM. Anwar may have appointed the right persons for economy,
education, the Home Ministry, Foreign Ministry, for international trade
and industries, and law.
God willing, the country is now on the right road.
Man on the Silver Mountain:
In this situation, I would give a satisfactory rating to the
composition of the cabinet. It is noticeably made of mostly the PM’s
men. These are political appointments. His hand is strengthened, and so
too is this government.
Some interesting ministers and portfolios include finance, and being
held by the PM is logical. It seems Anwar has planned for this - the
rejection of salary and the public declaration of assets.
no doubt be compared to former premier Najib Abdul Razak as the PM who
held this portfolio. Yes, a PM is in charge of finance, but he is no
The reason for him to reserve this portfolio is that he
wants direct involvement in turning this country around. So, it is a
challenge for him. It will make or break him, depending on the outcome
The other interesting portfolio is law, held by Umno’s Azalina Othman Said. A nice appointment and she is probably nicely suited to this portfolio. Her experience as a deputy speaker will come in handy.
Home Minister - Saifuddin, a trusted lieutenant of Anwar. This will put fear in the enemy. Abdul Hadi, better watch your mouth.
also under Umno’s Mohamad Hasan (Mat Hasan), but there is nothing much
to do there as this is not wartime. I cannot see any improvement in this
area, and I do not expect the littoral combat ship scandal to be resolved.
it is the wrong person for the wrong job by all counts, especially
politically. The appointment was made to obviously appease the coalition
As for the Youth and Sports Ministry under DAP’s Hannah
Yeoh, she is good for this job. However, Hannah’s watchers are probably a
little disappointed that she is not given a tougher job, like the
Federal Territories Ministry. She will do well for sure by bringing a
positive touch to the youth.
Tengku Zafrul for the Ministry of
International Trade and Industries? What? Another act of appeasement.
Meanwhile, PKR deputy chief Rafizi Ramli now helms the Ministry of
Economy, therefore expectation is high on him, so let’s see what will
While DAP’s Yeo Bee Yin’s situation
perhaps caused her the job as it is untenable politically for Anwar,
her comrade Nga Kor Ming gets an upgrade. He is minister material, but
it depends on where your taste in politics lies. The rest are
Apanama is back: As expected, Anwar
occupies the Finance Ministry, which I personally agree with. In fact,
no one else should be the finance minister at the moment.
Anwar always talks about ‘wastages and leakages’,
therefore, he needs to control these two weaknesses. All the government
procurement approvals will finally reach the Finance Ministry for
In his previous stint in 1993 and onwards, he controlled
these procurement funds very well at the time, and he was also deputy
Of course, there will be uproar here and there. He
may hand over the finance minister post to someone else at a later
stage but not now. Let him take the blame for any blunders in finance.
Anthony is back to transport, Anwar’s buddy Zahid is the deputy prime
minister (DPM), so the prime minister can watch him closely. It is a
Even GPS’ Fadillah Yusof will also be the other DPM. Food security and cost of living go to two Amanah MPs.
ministries look fine for me and need to wait for their performance. It
is really a unity cabinet for a unity government. My best wishes to the
Cogito Ergo Sum: Anwar had limited
options to start with, given the restrictions, this seems the least
poisonous. Zahid is there to ensure a second Sheraton Move does not happen.
there are a few whose presence is inexplicable. Let’s hope this lasts
for the duration of its tenure, which is five years. We cannot afford
any incompetence anymore and everyone in the cabinet are answerable to
the people who put them there: the voters.
With Parliament speaker Azhar (Art) Harun expected to be shown the door, perhaps elected representatives can do their job of checking executive excesses.