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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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.
|Portfolio||Office bearer||Party||Governmental Leadership Experience||Constituency|
|Prime Minister||Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim MP||PH (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 Minister||Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi MP||BN (UMNO)||Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia|
Minister of Home Affairs
Minister of Defence
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
|Deputy Prime Minister||Dato' Seri Haji Fadillah Yusof MP||GPS (PBB)||Senior Minister of Works|
Senior Minister of Infrastructure Development
Minister of Works
|Minister in the Prime Minister's Department||Dato' Setia Dr. Mohd. Naim Mokhtar (Religious Affairs)||Independent||Chief Judge of the Syariah Court of Malaysia||Senator|
|Minister in the Prime Minister's Department||Dato' 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 Department||Datuk Armizan Mohd. Ali MP (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs)||GRS-PN (BERSATU Sabah)||Personal Secretary to Sabah Chief Minister|
|Minister of Finance||Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim MP||PH (PKR)||As above||Tambun|
|Minister of the Economy||Mohd Rafizi Ramli MP||PH (PKR)||None||Pandan|
|Minister of Defence||Dato' Seri Utama Mohamad Hasan MP||BN (UMNO)||Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan||Rembau|
|Minister of Home Affairs||Dato' Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail||PH (PKR)||Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs||Senator|
|Minister of International Trade and Industry||Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz||BN (UMNO)||Minister of Finance||Senator|
|Minister of Education||Fadhlina Siddiq MP||PH (PKR)||None||Nibong Tebal|
|Minister of Transport||Anthony Loke Siew Fook MP||PH (DAP)||Minister of Transport||Seremban|
|Minister of Agriculture and Food Security||Mohamad Sabu MP||PH (AMANAH)||Minister of Defence||Kota Raja|
|Minister of Health||Dr. Zaliha Mustafa MP||PH (PKR)||None||Sekijang|
|Minister of Tourism||Dato Sri Tiong King Sing MP||GPS (PDP)||None||Bintulu|
|Minister of Local Government Development||Nga Kor Ming MP||PH (DAP)||Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat||Teluk Intan|
|Minister of Youth and Sports||Hannah Yeoh Tseow Tsuan MP||PH (DAP)||Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development|
Speaker of Selangor State Legislative Assembly
|Minister of Foreign Affairs||Dato' Seri Diraja Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir||BN (UMNO)||Menteri Besar of Perak||Senator|
|Minister of Higher Education||Dato' Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin MP||BN (UMNO)||Menteri Besar of Johor|
Deputy Minister of Works
Minister of Entrepreneur and Co-operatives Development
Minister of Higher Education
|Minister of Human Resources||Sivakumar Varatharaju Naidu MP||PH (DAP)||Speaker of Perak State Assembly||Batu Gajah|
|Minister of Domestic Trade and Living Costs||Dato' Seri Salahuddin Ayub MP||PH (AMANAH)||Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry||Pulai|
|Minister of Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperative||Datuk Ewon Benedick MP MLA||PH (UPKO)||State Minister of Rural Development of Sabah||Penampang|
|Minister of Rural and Regional Development||Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi MP||BN (UMNO)||As above||Bagan Datuk|
|Minister of Works||Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi MP||GPS (PBB)||Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs|
Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development
|Minister of Science and Technology||Chang Lih Kang MP||PH (PKR)||None||Tanjong Malim|
|Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change||Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad MP||PH (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 Commodities||Dato' Seri Haji Fadillah Yusof MP||GPS (PBB)||As above||Petra Jaya|
|Minister of Women, Family and Community Development||Dato Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri MP||GPS (PBB)||Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture|
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
|Minister of National Unity||Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang MP||GPS (PBB)||None||Kanowit|
|Minister of Digital Communication||Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil MP||PH (PKR)||None||Lembah 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
There have been many who have asked why I wasn't included in the cabinet announced by the Prime Minister yesterday. (1/3)
— GobindSinghDeo (@GobindSinghDeo) December 3, 2022
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.
No qualms not in Cabinet, so long l could help get Health Reform done.@Khairykj whasap me:"Really wanted you back. I’m sorry, Doc".
I replied: "lm a perpetual optimist…" He replied:
"Hope we can work together to push new YBMK to do the right things. I said, Yess!
— Dzulkefly Ahmad (@DrDzul) December 3, 2022
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 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
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.
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.