PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says no decision has been made on whether to include PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in an impending Cabinet reshuffle, while the latter jokes that he not applied for a post.
The two men said this when asked by a reporter if Anwar, who has been agreed as the next Prime Minister, would be included in the next Cabinet lineup.
Dr Mahathir, who is also the Pakatan Harapan and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman, was briefing the media on Saturday (Nov 23) after a Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council meeting with the top leaders of the Pakatan component parties.
Dr Mahathir said all component party leaders of Pakatan did not oppose his suggestion for a Cabinet reshuffle.
Dr Mahathir also said that the Cabinet reshuffle would take into count the sentiments of the people and the five component parties Pakatan Harapan.
"I have told the King (in a meeting prior to the Cabinet meeting on Nov 22) that the problem we face (in a Cabinet reshuffle) is that we (Pakatan) are not free to do everything we like.
"We have to be advised by the wishes of the people and their sentiments.
"We are a government of five parties. It is not easy to (make) change in a government.
"We will find out what the people are not happy about and if we find out that we have not done anything, we will try to correct.
"If the people point out that we must reshuffle, we will consider," said Dr Mahathir.
He said this at a media conference after a meeting of the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council on Nov 23 at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here.
The meeting was attended by the topmost leaders of Pakatan party components, including a Anwar, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and a few ministers.
On a question whether Anwar will be considered for a Cabinet post in the reshuffle, Dr Mahathir said,"I have not made a decision yet (on the Cabinet reshuffle). Everything is possible.
"They (Pakatan leaders) are not against it. They did not say, 'Please do not reshuffle me'," said Dr Mahathir.
Anwar then interjected, jokingly saying: "But I didn't apply".
Dr Mahathir also said he was aware the public was divided over the Cabinet reshuffle and there needed to be an assessment before a reshuffle was made.
On Nov 21, he announced that Cabinet changes were on the cards after all.
Two months after he last dismissed persistent talks of ministers being replaced, Dr Mahathir now said that a reshuffle must happen, especially after the terrible defeat of Pakatan candidate Karmaine Sardini of Bersatu to Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Dr Wee Jeck Seng of MCA in Tanjung Piai on Nov 16.