COLLECTIVE Cabinet responsibility is a constitutional convention in parliamentary systems where members of the cabinet must publicly support all governmental decisions made in cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them.
This almost certainly includes not leaking government information to others, which may allow for that information to become public knowledge, and/or identifying either directly or indirectly the Cabinet minister who disagrees with a government action, decision or policy.
It has become quite evident that there is already one senior minister who is doing just that. Leaking information that he doesn’t agree with. This information is almost freely flowing through some of the close knit WhatsApps groups around the nation.
We can see that Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli is being side-lined in Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s administration. We can also see that Anwar and Rafizi’s rift is affecting the unity government. This is definitely making Anwar’s job as PM much harder.
Rafizi must either put up or shut up and tow the government line. This is disloyalty in the extreme and must stop.
Public enemy No. 1 for MSMEs
On another matter, Rafizi’s Menu Rahmah scheme is hurting MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises). In a recent report by the MalaysiaNow news portal, burger stalls say they cannot compete with the cheaper meals offered by the major branded industry players.
Rafizi’s Menu Rahmah scheme was meant to provide affordable meals for those struggling with the cost of living. Ironically, the scheme is being taken up by major fast-food chains and retailers.
However, independent restaurants, food stalls, and petty traders selling food are seeing their incomes dry up as the cheap pricing of fast food and branded food has dragged their customers away.
Almost 15,000 major branded outlets now offer Menu Rahmah. This is a disaster for MSMEs. Walk around stalls in Gombak, Setapak, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, and Titiwangsa and you will hear stalls complain of this.
This has been a bonanza for McDonald’s, Marrybrown, Burger King and A&W at the cost of small local businesses who are still recovering from the COVID-19 movement control order (MCO) where they had to drain their savings and go into debt.
Some talked about Rafizi being potential PM material in the future. He is now a headache for the PM and an enemy of MSMEs. Nobody wants a PM who can’t be loyal and who hurts the people he claims to help. – March 23, 2023
Australia-born Murray Hunter has been involved in Asia-Pacific business for the last 40 years as an entrepreneur, consultant, academic and researcher. He was previously an associate professor at the Universiti Malaya Perlis.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.