02 October 2023

Zahid as Home Minister, wonder who is the real PM...

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim should not be put under any pressure to reshuffle his Cabinet, says Umno vice-president Johari Ghani. The Titiwangsa MP said that, as in any other country, such decisions are the sole prerogative of the prime minister.

“In any government, the prime minister has the exclusive decision (on a reshuffle),” he told reporters after a visit to the Sungai Gapoi Orang Asli settlement in Bentong. “We have to let the prime minister make his choice. Whether he wants to reshuffle (the Cabinet) or not, that’s his sole prerogative. “We cannot put any pressure on the prime minister. We have chosen him as our prime minister, and we have to support him,” he said.

Johari said the public had to take into account the fact that Anwar’s unity government was set up only 10 months ago and had to deal with various global economic challenges while the government coalition’s component parties also needed to adjust to working with each other.

“It’s like playing football. The prime minister will decide his team. He can’t be playing on his own. Every player on a team has his expertise, but they need time to acclimatise themselves,” said Johari who was a second finance minister from 2016-18.

Speculation about a reshuffle had arisen lately after the death of Salahuddin Ayub, the domestic trade and cost of living minister. On Friday, Anwar was asked by reporters if there could be changes soon. Anwar simply said: “I am thinking (about it).”

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi this evening hinted that a Cabinet reshuffle was imminent, days after Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said he was “thinking about it”. Zahid, who is deputy prime minister, said a reshuffle was in order as no one had been appointed to succeed Salahuddin Ayub as the minister for domestic trade and cost of living since he died in July.

“There has to be one (a Cabinet reshuffle). I think it will take place soon,” Zahid said, according to Bernama. Zahid’s comments on a possible reshuffle came a day after Selangor menteri besar Amirudin Shari shot down rumours that he would be made a minister.

Asked about talk that he would be appointed as the home minister, Zahid said he was prepared to accept any responsibility entrusted to him. Zahid was home minister from 2013-2018. Separately, the current home minister, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who is also secretary-general of PKR, declined to comment when asked about a rumour he would replace Salahuddin, Bernama reported. - fmt


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