Rumours are rife in Malaysia that PKR leader and PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim will be given a cabinet post but Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir shot down the idea saying no decision is made yet.
“I haven’t made a decision yet,” Dr Mahathir said on Saturday to reporters after chairing Pakatan Harapan’s presidential council meeting this evening.
But he added, “Everything is possible.”
In a short response, Anwar said: “But I did not apply.”
This is not the first time Anwar said he did not apply for a post in Mahathir’s cabinet, but he did not say it will not be welcomed.
The Malaysian social media scene was abuzz with fake reports that Anwar will be appointed as the new deputy Prime Minister, a role he last held right before he was sent to jail by Mahathir in 1998.
Last week Dr Mahathir mentioned he might consider a cabinet reshuffle, and this went viral on social media too..
But the ‘euphoria’ of a change in the Pakatan Harapan cabinet lineup was short-lived after Dr Mahathir said any reshuffle will take place after November 2020.
Speaking of responses from Cabinet ministers on the news of a possible reshuffle, Mahathir said, “Well, they are not against it. They didn’t say please don’t reshuffle me.”
Unhappiness against Pakatan
The Pakatan Harapan leadership met on Saturday to discuss the massive defeat the coalition registered in the Johor by-election. The PH candidate was beaten by a whopping and shocking 15,000 margin. A defeat that left Dr Mahathir bloody-nosed as it is the first time as a sitting PM his party lost with such a big margin.
After the meeting on Saturday, Mahathir also said the government will look into what the people were unhappy about regarding the various ministries.
“If they feel that we have not done anything, we will try to correct it or if they point out that we must reshuffle, we will consider.”
Analysing the defeat, Dr Mahathir said the people were unhappy with the PH coalition partner the Democratic Action Party.
“So there appears to be a balance, both sides are unsatisfied. We cannot satisfy everyone, but the situation now is that people are not satisfied because we are being fair to both sides.”
He also said the Malays felt the DAP had taken over the PH and Chinese voters felt he was personally manhandling the DAP.