Asia Malaysia Mahathir calls cabinet reshuffle into question

Mahathir calls cabinet reshuffle into question

"I've reshuffled before. When I resigned, that was a reshuffle. I handed over to someone else and see what happened," said Dr Mahathir at a press conference in S Korea

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Malaysia is gearing up for a possible cabinet reshuffle but Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said previous reshuffles have not gone down well.

“I’ve reshuffled before. When I resigned, that was a reshuffle. I handed over to someone else and see what happened,” said Dr Mahathir at a press conference in S Korea.

It is believed his remark is a reply to some observers who are saying a reshuffle should include Dr Mahathir’s resignation to allow Anwar Ibrahim to take over.

But some say it might be a dig at previous successors Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Razak. Abdullah Badawi took over from Dr Mahathir in 2003 when he resigned.

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But later, Dr Mahathir campaigned against Abdullah and got Najib appointed as the new PM in 2009. He resigned from Umno to form another party, the Bersatu and joined Anwar’s opposition group to defeat the BN in the 2018 elections.

Does that mean there will not be any reshuffle? The PM did not commit to a timeline for a reshuffle but he managed to get the Pakatan Harapan leaders and parties on board for a possible reshuffle.

He also said the ministers were also okay with a reshuffle, with one minister saying he is willing to quit if his performance was judged as unsatisfactory.

But the elderly statesman also said he is satisfied or positive with the performance of the current cabinet. He said the cabinet needs more time to adjust being in government. They were far too long in the opposition, he said.

“For the time being, yes (I’m satisfied). I’ve changed people in the past and they (the new people) were worse, not better,” he said.

He said the cabinet reports to him thus he knows about their performance.

“(But) other people (are saying) ‘Oi, this is terrible, that is bad, wear black shoes and so on,” he said.

Bloggers in Malaysia are still harping at Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik for his ‘reform’ at the schools, with the change of shoe colour from white to black.

A former man of Anwar Ibrahim, Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor who left the reformasi movement to re-join the Umno in the late 1990’s lambasted Dr Mahathir for his solution to the Pakatan Harapan’s downfall in Johor.

He said that the 15,000 margin in the defeat suffered by the PH in the by-election in Tanjung Piai is very big compared to their 2018 victory with a 500 vote margin over the BN.

Reiterating his call for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down, he said the defeat is colossal and the response from PH must be colossal.

Nevertherless, he said the proposed cabinet reshuffle by Dr Mahathir will not help the PH because it will not be a colossal response.-/TISG

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