KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional has formed a “shadow Cabinet” for each ministry as a check and balance against the Pakatan Harapan government, says Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
He said the shadow Cabinet, comprising portfolio committees, would be co-chaired by two Barisan lawmakers or highly qualified individuals with relevant qualifications.
“The shadow Cabinet will act as a policy watchdog and present alternative policies against those formulated by the Pakatan government,” he told a press conference at the Umno headquarters yesterday.
He said Barisan component parties, including MCA, MIC and PBRS, would be part of the shadow Cabinet.
The committees will also be involved in Barisan’s shadow Budget, which will be led by Rembau Umno MP Khairy Jamaluddin.
Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be in charge of the Prime Minister’s Department, while Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakub and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah will oversee the Home Ministry.
Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein will be in charge of the defence portfolio.
MCA’s sole MP and party deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong will be in charge of the transport portfolio, MIC’s Cameron Highlands MP Datuk Sivarraajh Chandran will oversee the primary industry portfolio and Pensiangan MP Tan Sri Joseph Kurup will lead the rural development committee.
Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said will be in charge of law, Umno vice-president and Padang Terap MP Datuk Seri Mahadzir Khalid will be in charge of education and Khairy will oversee the finance portfolio.
Asked why former prime minister and Pekan MP Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was excluded, Annuar said: “In this context, he is not needed in the list.”
Meanwhile, Khairy urged the government to provide resources for the Barisan shadow ministers.
He also welcomed public suggestions to help the opposition craft their first “shadow budget”.
“Now that the shadow Cabinet has been announced, institutional reforms of Parliament should follow suit with select committees and resources for shadow ministers,” he posted on his Twitter account.
Asked if an Umno member would contest in the Port Dickson by-election, Annuar said the matter would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
“This is because Umno is not contesting against a Barisan candidate. We are not fielding anyone,” he added.
Barisan has decided to boycott the by-election over the manner in which the seat was vacated.
Port Dickson PKR MP Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah resigned on Sept 12 to pave the way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest the seat. If the PKR president-elect wins, he can return to Parliament.
The Election Commission has fixed Oct 13 for the by-election, with nominations set for Sept 29.