Veteran journalist, Abdul Kadir Jasin yesterday suggested that PKR president Anwar Ibrahim should be appointed as a “special functions minister” in the Cabinet.
Writing in his blog, he says it is now time to examine Anwar’s role following the ruling coalition’s devastating defeat in the Tanjung Piai by-election in Johor.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is still deciding on a Cabinet reshuffle and has received the approval from the Pakatan Harapan coalition in power.
But Anwar has said he is not interested in a Cabinet post, suggesting he only wants to become the Prime Minister once Dr Mahathir resigns.
“With Dr Mahathir finally deciding to reshuffle the Cabinet following the shock defeat at the Tanjong Piai Parliamentary by-election on November 16, it’s time to examine Anwar’s role.
“The Cabinet reshuffle is sorely needed not only because the PH ratings are falling but also because several ministers are clearly not performing.
“The prime minister could bring Anwar into the Cabinet as a special functions minister although the latter had said, jokingly, that he wasn’t applying for a Cabinet job,” Kadir writes.
According to him, Pakatan could do well in getting Anwar in the Cabinet.
“We could do well to reduce politicking and concentrate on running the country.”
In a rare post on Anwar Ibrahim, Jasin says, “As a journalist at Bernama and later at the New Straits Times Press (NSTP), I did not hold a positive view of Anwar. When I joined the National News Agency as a cadet reporter in 1969, Anwar was rebel-rousing at the University of Malaya.
It was natural of us in the mainstream media to portray him as a sort of enemy-of-the-state for his political activities. This led to his arrest by the government of late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein in 1974 under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for his role in the Baling rubber smallholders protest. He was detained for 22 months.”
He writes that under Dr Mahathir’s tutelage and protection, Anwar rose quickly to become Umno Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister in 1993 and his anointed successor. I described him as the crown prince of Umno.
“For me personally, it was a “challenging” 16 years (1982-1998), partly because I did not always agree with Anwar’s way of doing things and his aggressive empire-building.”
He says Anwar is a consummate public relations maestro and is a sartorially conscious person and an expert at disarming opponents but may not be as good as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in managing enemies.
“I believe that is also the reason the two-men “grudgingly” acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” he says.
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