Letter to Editor
I FIND Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s selection of his Cabinet unfair and disappointing.
First of all, let me make it clear that I understand Anwar needs to form a stable government because PN is a clear and present threat. This is why I’m not even disputing the appointment of Ahmad Zahid as Deputy Prime Minster (DPM) although that is considered by many as a repugnant choice.
But why is Barisan Nasional (BN) getting so many plum portfolios apart from DPM – like Defence and International Trade and Industry?
The same goes to PKR – PM, Finance, Home, Economic Affairs, Education.
Why are people who were voted out in GE15 made ministers and given major portfolios — like Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz and Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution?
Many people found Zafrul to be a disappointment as finance minister. Why is he made a minister even?
Educationists also found Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin a disappointment when he was higher education minister the previous time. Why is he appointed to the same position?
And why is Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said made minister in-charge of law when right after ex-premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak was sent to jail, she came out to say that the Government should have had the Attorney-General (AG) in its pocket? Is this the kind of minister we want?
Why does PKR have the greatest number of ministers, ie eight when it won only 31 seats (ratio: 1:3.87) in the 15th General Election (GE15)? UMNO gets six posts with only 30 seats (ratio 1:5). Even GPS with only 23 seats gets five ministers.
The DAP won the highest number of seats among all the parties in this new government, ie 40 but it gets only four ministers (ratio 1:10). And these ministers are having less than major portfolios like Transport (Anthony Loke), Human Resources (V N Sivakumar) Local Government (Nga Kor Ming), and Youth and Sports (Hannah Yeoh).
These are portfolios the BN of old used to traditionally give to the MCA.
Sure, I get it that Anwar is worried about being attacked by the Opposition if the DAP were to be given more significant portfolios, but one might have expected him to show some appreciation to the party that has stood by him for the last 24 years, through thick and thin.
In fact, Anwar’s selection formula smacks of the formula of the BN of old – with the PM also becoming finance minister.
Finally, have you heard of Fadhlina Sidek (Nibong Tebal MP)? I haven’t. Maybe I’m ignorant or uninformed but it still worries me greatly that I haven’t. Because she is the new Education Minister. That’s one of the biggest portfolios. Has she got what it takes? Will she take our education standards out of its lower depths?
Oh, but of course, she’s from PKR, too. Looks like Anwar has made sure that his party would occupy most of the key ministries.
I’m just a no-bullshit layman giving my layman’s take on the new Cabinet and its selection. Please tell me if I am wrong in any way. – Dec 3, 2022
Political critic and veteran journalist Kee Thuan Chye is also the author of Ask for No Bullshit, Get Some More! (sequel to No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians).
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.