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Malaysian Government 2022: Unity Govt Cabinet – Mixed, Not the Best but Unavoidable

Anwar Ibrahim Government Cabinet 2022 Pakatan Harapan

Before anyone goes and criticizes Pakatan Harapan for names shortlisted for Anwar’s Cabinet, one needs to remember that this is not the Pakatan Harapan Government but is a unity government that Pakatan Harapan is forced to join to avoid Perikatan Nasional becoming the next Government. Image source: Twitter.

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Malaysia Cabinet

The Pakatan Harapan Government should have lasted till the year 2023 and which would have seen overdue changes & reforms but was sabotaged after just 22 months and forced to be in the opposition. No doubt there were some shortcomings in some of their ministers but overall there were some reforms and push for the rule of law. Image source: NST

Anwar’s Cabinet Ministers

In summary, it is a mixed combination of politicians from the various factions that agreed to be with Anwar Ibrahim as the Prime Minister.

PortfolioOffice bearerPartyGovernmental Leadership ExperienceConstituency
Prime MinisterDato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim MPPH (PKR)President of the UNESCO General Conference
Chairman of the Development Committee of the
World Bank Group and the
International Monetary Fund
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports
Minister of Agriculture
Minister of Education
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Deputy Prime MinisterDato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi MPBN (UMNO)Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Minister of Home Affairs
Minister of Defence
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Bagan Datuk
Deputy Prime MinisterDato' Seri Haji Fadillah Yusof MPGPS (PBB)Senior Minister of Works
Senior Minister of Infrastructure Development
Minister of Works
Petra Jaya
Minister in the Prime Minister's DepartmentDato' Setia Dr. Mohd. Naim Mokhtar (Religious Affairs)IndependentChief Judge of the Syariah Court of MalaysiaSenator
Minister in the Prime Minister's DepartmentDato' Sri Azalina Othman Said MP (Law and Institutional Reform)BN (UMNO)Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliamentary Affairs) (Legal Affairs)
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Law and Human Rights
Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat
Minister of Tourism
Minister of Youth and Sports
Minister in the Prime Minister's DepartmentDatuk Armizan Mohd. Ali MP (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs)GRS-PN (BERSATU Sabah)Personal Secretary to Sabah Chief Minister
Political Secretary
Minister of FinanceDato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim MPPH (PKR)As aboveTambun
Minister of the EconomyMohd Rafizi Ramli MPPH (PKR)NonePandan
Minister of DefenceDato' Seri Utama Mohamad Hasan MPBN (UMNO)Menteri Besar of Negeri SembilanRembau
Minister of Home AffairsDato' Seri Saifuddin Nasution IsmailPH (PKR)Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer AffairsSenator
Minister of International Trade and IndustryDatuk Seri Utama Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul AzizBN (UMNO)Minister of FinanceSenator
Minister of EducationFadhlina Siddiq MPPH (PKR)NoneNibong Tebal
Minister of TransportAnthony Loke Siew Fook MPPH (DAP)Minister of TransportSeremban
Minister of Agriculture and Food SecurityMohamad Sabu MPPH (AMANAH)Minister of DefenceKota Raja
Minister of HealthDr. Zaliha Mustafa MPPH (PKR)NoneSekijang
Minister of TourismDato Sri Tiong King Sing MPGPS (PDP)NoneBintulu
Minister of Local Government DevelopmentNga Kor Ming MPPH (DAP)Deputy Speaker of the Dewan RakyatTeluk Intan
Minister of Youth and SportsHannah Yeoh Tseow Tsuan MPPH (DAP)Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development
Speaker of Selangor State Legislative Assembly
Minister of Foreign AffairsDato' Seri Diraja Dr. Zambry Abdul KadirBN (UMNO)Menteri Besar of PerakSenator
Minister of Higher EducationDato' Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin MPBN (UMNO)Menteri Besar of Johor
Deputy Minister of Works
Minister of Entrepreneur and Co-operatives Development
Minister of Higher Education
Kota Tinggi
Minister of Human ResourcesSivakumar Varatharaju Naidu MPPH (DAP)Speaker of Perak State AssemblyBatu Gajah
Minister of Domestic Trade and Living CostsDato' Seri Salahuddin Ayub MPPH (AMANAH)Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based IndustryPulai
Minister of Entrepreneurship Development and CooperativeDatuk Ewon Benedick MP MLAPH (UPKO)State Minister of Rural Development of SabahPenampang
Minister of Rural and Regional DevelopmentDato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi MPBN (UMNO)As aboveBagan Datuk
Minister of WorksDato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi MPGPS (PBB)Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development
Minister of Science and TechnologyChang Lih Kang MPPH (PKR)NoneTanjong Malim
Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate ChangeNik Nazmi Nik Ahmad MPPH (PKR)Chairman of the Education, Human Capital Development, Science, Technology and Innovation
Deputy Speaker of Selangor State Legislative Assembly
Chairman the Defence and Home Affairs Select Committee
Minister of Plantation Industries and CommoditiesDato' Seri Haji Fadillah Yusof MPGPS (PBB)As abovePetra Jaya
Minister of Women, Family and Community DevelopmentDato Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri MPGPS (PBB)Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Minister of National UnityDatuk Aaron Ago Dagang MPGPS (PBB)NoneKanowit
Minister of Digital CommunicationAhmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil MPPH (PKR)NoneLembah Pantai

Out of the 28 ministries at sake, Pakatan Harapan takes 15 key ministries which include the Ministry of Finance, Economy, Home, Education, Transport, Health, and Human Resource.  Barisan Nasional but members from only UMNO takes 6 ministries namely Defence, International Trade, Foreign Affairs, and Higher Education. GPS+ GRS takes another 6 ministries namely Tourism, Works, and Plantation Industries & Commodities.

Only 5 out of the 28 Ministers are women ministers and V.  Sivakumar who was the ex-Perak Assembly Speaker is the sole Indian Minister in Anwar’s Cabinet. Most of the Ministers appointed have some form of past experience handling ministries except for the new ministers.

Zahid Hamidi Court Case Cabinet

The fear that the court clusters will escape prison is justifiable before the general elections and it remains the same after the general elections. A deputy Prime Minister that is facing 87 criminal charges (the AG is appealing the 40 charges that he was acquitted of) is not a good start for a government that promises justice and reforms. But is there any other choice other than this? Image source: The Malaysian Insight FB

Barisan Nasional Ministers

Generally, there have been negative comments on the composition of Anwar’s list of Ministers specifically on the appointment of UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the Minister of Finance under the backdoor government, Tengku Zafrul but it is likely that Anwar did not have any choice to dismiss them from the list.

The appointment of Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as deputy prime minister was not made based on political interests but in consideration of his position in the party hierarchy.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the appointment of Ahmad Zahid to the country’s second-highest office was also aimed at stabilising the unity government which was formed after no party won a simple majority of 112 seats in the Dewan Rakyat.

Asked whether the party accepted the Cabinet’s decision, Ahmad said there was positive feedback from the party’s rank and file.

”We are aware that we have only 30 seats and six representatives (as ministers), even though we demanded more. We are waiting for the list of deputy ministers,” he said

(Source: Malay Mail)

From Barisan Nasional, all of the 6 Ministers have either been appointed as Ministers or state Chief Ministers in past governments. Experience is not an issue but then again, there is nothing revolutionary about their past experience either although there are some promises of old, outdated laws to be revisited under Azalina Othman:-

A motion has been filed by Datuk Seri Azalina Othman for the tabling of a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament for a constitutional amendment in relation to the citizenship of children born abroad to Malaysian mothers.

The Pengerang MP, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Women and Children Affairs and Social Development, filed the motion to Dewan Rakyat secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin on Thursday

(Source: TheStar)

It is yet to be seen whether real reforms can be made whilst still having the same Barisan Nasional politicians on board and having the court cases against some of the same politicians continue uninterrupted. However, on the other hand, there is no choice for Anwar as these names were submitted by the Barisan Nasional as a whole.

No comments on GPS & GRS Ministers as they are likely to focus on the demands & overdue reforms for Sabah & Sarawak.

Cabinet Rafizi Ramli Anthony Loke Mat Sabu 2022 Swearing Ceremony

The main pillars of Anwar Ibrahim’s effort to take charge as the next Prime Minister – DAP Secretary General, Anthony Loke, Amanah President, Mohamad Sabu, and PKR Vice President, Rafizi Ramli, seen here in the swearing ceremony to the King. Image source: Berita Harian/Bernama

Pakatan Harapan Ministers

One of the right choices that Anwar did in selecting his Ministers from Pakatan Harapan is to get Anthony Loke as the Minister of Transport whom he excelled in the same portfolio in 2018-2020 and Rafizi Ramli as the Minister of Economy who will oversee the Economic Planning Unit, a key component that is heavily involved in the planning of the development & economic programs and projects.

Mat Sabu has been moved as the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security and he will excel despite not having any background in modern, smart farming and food security planning. This needs to be coordinated with other ministries as well.

The hardworking Hannah Yeoh is in the wrong ministry – she should have been made the Minister of Women, Family, and Community Development instead of the Minister of Youth and Sports as she was the Deputy Minister for this portfolio between 2018-2020.

The biggest gamble would be these Ministers as this is their first time handling important ministries and they are expected to excel in them:-

  • Minister of Education – Fadhlina Siddiq
  • Minister of Health – Dr. Zaliha Mustafa
  • Minister of Science and Technology – Chang Lih Kang
  • Minister of Digital Communication – Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil

The education system which is already in bad shape, coupled with an overworked teaching force, experimental curriculum, and too much of religious lessons in the syllabus is a huge task for the 45 years old MP from PKR. Further her religious education background is likely to mean that the religious studies in national schools are not going to be scaled down, further alienating non-Muslim students from enrolling in national schools.

Gobind Singh Deo Pakatan Harapan Cabinet

There were several key names missing from the Cabinet list namely Gobind Singh who did a remarkable job as the Minister of Communication & Multimedia and is attributed as the main person who brought cheap internet rates to all levels of Malaysians which came in handy for all who worked from home during the COVID19 lockdown. Image source: Utusan Malaysia

Missing Cabinet Names

Understandably there is less room in the cabinet for Pakatan Harapan Ministers in a unity government which will see almost half of the cabinet seats going to BN, GPS & GRS ministers. It would have been a different story if Pakatan Harapan had won enough seats to form a government on its own.

Gobind Singh was not on the list even though he was expected to be on and this exclusion was made on Gobind’s own request as he wanted to focus on his Parliamentary constituent and he explained this well in his Tweet.

The other notable missing name from the cabinet is Yeo Bee Hee from DAP who was the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change in Mahathir’s cabinet during 2018-2020 and her action of sending back 150 containers of plastic waste caught the international news.

Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad won his parliamentary seat in Kuala Selangor and who was the Minister of Health in 2018-2020 was also not shortlisted as the Minister of Health in the current cabinet. And yet, be assured that he will be pushing for Health reforms as stated in his Tweet below and will assist the current cabinet Health minister.

Whilst these Pakatan Harapan members of Parliament may not be made as Ministers in the current cabinet, we can rest assured that they will be scrutinizing each of the Ministers and their performance to ensure all meet the required KPIs and objectives.

Hadi Awang PAS Taliban PN Islamic

Hadi Awang was one of the first to support the Taliban who drove out a democratically elected government and was one of the few who even promise financial & other aid to the Taliban even though the Taliban was not recognized by Malaysia and many other countries. Hadi is also behind the misinformation about DAP and even insisted on calling DAP practicing communism. Image source: Malaysiakini FB

Final Say

After Pakatan Harapan only won 82 seats which was not enough to form the next government and GPS & GRS openly supported Perikatan Nasional who only won 73 seats, Perikatan Nasional led by religious extreme PAS was a foregone conclusion. The only question that remained was how bad Malaysia is going to be in the next 5 years under Perikatan Nasional.

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Rafizi Ramli explains in detail here why we have a unity government in the first place and how BN & PH ended up in the “same bed” despite the fierce & nasty pre-election campaign.

Then just when Pakatan Harapan is looking ahead as the opposition, there were some changes starting with Barisan Nasional denying that there is any statutory declaration and then GPS & GRS turning around to say that they will support anyone who will form a unity government and this does not mean Perikatan Nasional.

So in the end, what we have is not a Pakatan Harapan government but rather a unity government led by a Pakatan Harapan Prime Minister. This is why we cannot have a Pakatan Harapan cabinet but instead have a cabinet that is determined by the various political parties. Anwar probably has a minimal say on what portfolio these politicians can hold in the cabinet. This probably explains why there are some mismatches in some of the cabinet portfolios.

We have a new government in place and although it is not ideal, personally it is better than the other and is led majority by Pakatan Harapan. Let’s give them the time and space to pick up what they have left off in 2020 and start working for actual results. We as the citizen who voted them in has a duty to monitor, applaud or criticize on their performance.

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