AFTER being ‘short-changed’ with only four ministerial posts in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government last week, DAP has been allotted the highest number of deputy ministers with six of which four are debutants.
For the record, Anwar had on last night (Dec 9) named 27 deputy ministers to complement the line-up of 28 ministers in the new federal administration.
In terms of ranking, ‘colour blind’ Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong is made Anwar’s deputy (along with Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan) at the Finance Ministry while Liew Chin Tong – the vocal Johor DAP chairman and – will keep ‘celebrity minister’ Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziiz company at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Three-term Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching has been made Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital and is expected to click with her PKR comrade and Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil with ease.
For the uninitiated, both Liew and Teo were previously deputy ministers of education and defence respectively in the previous short-lived PH administration which collapsed in February 2020 no thanks to the Sheraton Move betrayal.
Ramkarpal Singh, son of the late “Tiger of Jelutong” Karpal Singh and three-term Bukit Gelugor MP, complements Datuk Seri Azalina Othman as Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform).
Lim Hui Ying – the younger sibling of DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng and Tanjong MP – will keep her father Lim Kit Siang’s legacy alive with her appointment as Deputy Education Minister, working along PKR’s Fadhlina Sidek who created history by being the first female Education Minister.
The trio of Sim, Ramkarpal and Hui Ying would at least ‘nurse the wound’ of many Penang DAP loyalists at who were unhappy of the party’s overwhelming grand sacrifice when only four DAP MPs are made ministers in Anwar’s Cabinet line-up.
Completing the ‘magical six’ figure is DAP’s two-term Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin who can expect an ‘interesting time’ at the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry working alongside Amanah’s president and two-term Kota Raja Mohamad Sabu.
While DAP has emerged the biggest winner, one would wonder if the Finance Ministry would be the ‘biggest loser’ by virtue of Anwar having selected UMNO secretary-general and four-term Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan as his deputy when there could be a better option in Titiwangsa MP Datuk Seri Johari Ghani.
This is given that apart from being a renowned corporate figure and chartered accountant, Johari had previously served as Finance Minister II under incarcerated ex-premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration.
Well, politics can be an art of the illusive with only Anwar has the answer. – Dec 10, 2022