KUCHING (Nov 30): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not cave in to the demands and hints of groups that certain MPs should be in the unity government federal cabinet, said political analyst Prof James Chin.
He said Anwar himself had already said that the next federal cabinet will be lean and to be filled up only by competent MPs in efforts to resuscitate the national economy and not to be filled up just for the sake of rewarding parties.
“He will not cave in (to the demands and hints) and moreover, appointment of federal cabinet members is always the prerogative of the Prime Minister,” Chin said when contacted.
“I think everybody will need to take a hair cut because of the trim,” he said in jest when explaining why MPs should not be so hopeful this time around.
He said this time around Sarawak, too, will not be getting the same number of full ministers in the federal cabinet because of the possible trim down-sized cabinet.
Sarawak had four full ministers in the last federal cabinet administered by the Perikatan Nasional (PN).
They were Petra Jaya MP Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof (Senior Minister and Works Minister), Kapit MP Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi (Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs), the then Batang Sadong MP Dato Sri Nancy Shukri (Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture) and the then Santubong MP Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Law and Parliament).
Nancy is now Santubong MP whereas Wan Junaidi did not seek re-election in the Nov 19, 2022 parliamentary election (GE15).
Chin, however, said Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg would be sending a very strong message to people in regards Malaysian multi-racialism if he were to nominate a Dayak to Anwar to be appointed Deputy Prime Minister (DPM).
“If Abang Johari wants to show that he truly believes in what he said, that GPS is multi-racial, then he should nominate a non-Muslim Pesaka member to be DPM. This is not only a powerful message to GPS but also to the whole of Malaysia,” said Chin, referring to Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) in which Abang Johari is the president.
Some Dayak groups have openly called for GPS secretary-general Nanta to be appointed DPM but a make-up list that has gone viral on social media hinted that Fadillah, PBB senior vice president, would be appointed DPM.
The list, which has been debunked as fake, also named Nancy (of PBB), Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) president Datuk Larry Sng and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) vice presidents Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong and Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang as among those to be appointed federal cabinet members.
It was also claimed that Anwar, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president, might be trimming down the number of full ministers from 70 (when PN was the government) to 25 under PH.
It was also believed that the Tambun MP might be announcing the cabinet line-up anytime before the Dec 19, 2022 parliament sitting.