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Losers Become Winners In Anwar’s 28-Minister Cabinet

Losers Become Winners In Anwar’s 28-Minister Cabinet

A struggling Umno is seen as the biggest winner in Anwar’s unity Cabinet lineup.

Fernando Fong

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Three politicians lost in the recently concluded 15th General Election but were appointed as ministers by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

One is from PKR who is Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (Minister of Home Affairs), and the others are from Umno, namely Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Aziz (Minister of International Trade and Industry) and Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir (Minister of Foreign Affairs).

But all three have been given cabinet positions and appointed as Senators today (3 December) before Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Rais Yatim.

The Federal Constitution’s Article 43(2)(b) requires that ministers either be members of the Dewan Rakyat or the Dewan Negara.

In contrast, Amanah’s Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, who defeated Tengku Zafrul in Kuala Selangor, was not appointed a minister.

Some said Dr Dzulkefly should have been reinstated as Health Minister, given his background.

Dr Dzul, Amanah’s strategic director, had also served as Health Minister under the previous Pakatan Harapan government.

On the other hand, some pointed out that the new Health Minister, PKR women leader Dr Zaliha Mustafa, is a qualified doctor from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Dr Zaliha was congratulated by many, including former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Umno, The Biggest Winner

Umno is said to be the biggest beneficiary of the Cabinet lineup with six ministers.

It will be a much-needed lifeline for UMNO, which is on a decline, especially its embattled president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

With the latest development, it is likely the president will triumph in the upcoming Umno party elections, which will be held within six months from now.

Ahmad Zahid has been appointed Deputy Prime Minister with Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leader Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

In addition, Ahmad Zahid was also appointed as Minister of Rural and Regional Development.

Ahmad Zahid’s appointment raised many eyebrows because he is in defence against 47 charges.

The accusation includes an alleged criminal breach of trust of RM31 million belonging to the charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi.

READ MORE: [UPDATED WITH FULL LIST] Anwar Announces Cabinet Line-Up, Zahid Makes DPM

Unequal Distribution?

DAP won 40 seats and is the biggest party in PH, but they got only four Cabinet posts. 

UMNO won only 22 Parliamentary seats, but they got seven minister slots, including the Deputy Prime Minister post.

Netizens complained that despite staying faithful to PKR through thick and thin, DAP was handed ‘non-critical’ portfolios.

At the same time, netizens urged outspoken DAP leader Nga Kor Ming to be cautious with his statement moving forward.

The Teluk Intan MP, also state assemblyman for Kepayang in Perak, has been named the Local Government Minister.

Netizens hope Nga will tread carefully on sensitive issues such as 999-year land titles for new village folks.

Fair And Just Selection

In about three weeks, the Parliament is expected to table a motion of confidence to reaffirm Anwar’s premiership.

Ahmad Zahid has signalled he and his coalition will back Anwar on 19 December during the vote.

Anwar has said the Cabinet appointment should not be seen as rewarding political partners in exchange for support.

He reiterated they should support him based on his policies and efforts towards good governance and his commitment to anti-corruption drive and resuscitating the economy.


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