AS Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob leaves for a one-week sojourn to New York, US, to lead Malaysia’s delegation to the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, he would do well on his long plane ride to reflect on the performance or lack of performance of his Cabinet.
10 ministers in Ismail’s Cabinet stand out for failing to make the grade. They are as follows:
First off, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, for overseeing the RM9 bil purchase of six littoral combat ships (LCS) and other defence procurement scandals involving billions of ringgit.
The most outrageous scandal involved the payment of RM6 bil without a single ship being delivered.
Hishamuddin had even launched an incomplete LCS in 2017 with an RM400,000 false mast that was then disposed of.
The three PAS Ministers – namely Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Idris Ahmad, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan and Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man – were labelled by political scientist Prof Mohamad Agus Yusoff from University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) as incompetent.
Idris is the worst offender, frequently using racist and extremist statements, including victim-shaming, that disrupts national unity and religious harmony, while Tuan Ibrahim has not been effective at all in dealing with the ferocious floods besetting the nation.
Even Johor UMNO deputy chief Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has described the duo as low-quality ministers (menteri cap ayam) who were dragging the Government down with their incompetence.
“Failing to resolve shortage of foreign labour”
Fifth is Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan for failing to fulfil his promise to resolve the shortage of foreign labour after only 47,000 foreign labour were brought in, a mere success rate of only 12% of 385,000 approvals given by him since January this year.
Sixth is Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong for stubbornly insisting on refusing to grant an exemption to the cabotage policy that would allow foreign vessels to repair submarine cables, causing losses of billions of ringgit of digital investments, and getting his facts tragically wrong on the recent helicopter crash in Bidor, Perak.
Seventh, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun, for failing to defend the dignity of women and turning a blind eye to gender discrimination.
Eight, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, for his abysmal failure to stem inflation in chairing the Special Jihad Taskforce Against Inflation in June even as inflation and food inflation rose from 3.4% and 6.1%, respectively, in June to 4.4% and 6.9% in July.
This led Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to raise its overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 2.5% to control inflation.
In ninth place is Federal Territories Minister Shahidan Kassim for his failure to seek solutions for deteriorating traffic congestion and flood mitigation projects in Kuala Lumpur.
Forgetting that Kuala Lumpur is an international city, Shahidan adopts the extremist policies of PAS by taking steps toward banning concerts by international artists and the sale of alcohol in traditional Chinese medicine halls.
Last but not least is Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed for failing to manage the economy.
It is noteworthy that Ismail had recently questioned former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s criticisms of failed economic management relating to the handling of inflation and the depreciation of the ringgit against the US dollar, Singapore dollar and Indonesian rupiah.
Will Ismail do the right thing to lessen the suffering of Malaysians or will he choose to call for general elections this year to cover up the failed performance of his Government? – Sept 22, 2022
Lim Guan Eng is DAP national chairman, Bagan MP and a former finance minister.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia
Main photo credit: The Sun Daily