The pressure is on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to appoint both Anwar Ibrahim and an-ex Umno man who is seen as clean and intelligent to cabinet posts.
Weeks ago, some members of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat or Justice Party suggested that Anwar should be nominated as a minister. They argued this will help him to prepare for the take-over from Dr Mahathir.
But there are also pressures from the party of Dr Mahathir, Bersatu, which is pushing the Prime Minister to appoint Jeli MP Mustapa Mohamed into the Cabinet.
Some people in the Bersatu are saying that Mustapa, who was the Minister of International Trade and Industry in the cabinet of ex-PM Najib Razak, is too big a man to leave on the sidelines.
They say he has extensive experience in government and will add to the current cabinet lineup made mostly of rookies.
The rookies are prone to mistakes and do not really understand how to differentiate their roles as ministers and their old game as opposition mp’s, says some.
Prime Minister Mahathir gave them a 5.0 ranking after their first year in the cabinet, saying they are still thinking like opposition politicians.
However, Dr Mahathir quashed rumours of an impending massive cabinet reshuffle.
In the process, he also dismissed calls for the appointment of both Anwar and Mustapa.
On Anwar, Dr Mahathir said he will not be part of his cabinet team whenever he makes minor changes to cabinet portfolios.
He said nobody in the cabinet is ready to quit their posts to make way for Anwar – perhaps indicating he is not ready to quit too.
“We are not having any change or any increase in the number of cabinet (members).
“Since nobody has indicated they want to resign, we have no vacancy (to accommodate Anwar),” he told a press conference after chairing Bersatu Supreme Council meeting this evening. -/TISG
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