KLANG: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob must ensure that his Cabinet is made up of members who can deliver.
“Imagine a football team made up of high-calibre personalities such as the late Diego Maradona and Pele.“If he (Ismail Sabri) can come up with such a team and a unity government, hats off to him,’’ said Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee member Nizam Bashir Abdul Kariem Bashir.However, he said it would be easier and safer if Ismail Sabri retained some members of former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s Cabinet while adding a few others who were capable and efficient.
“What is needed at the moment is a Cabinet that is efficient in managing the pandemic and does not indulge in politicking,’’ he added.
He said there must be a realisation that when leaders play political “musical chairs” at the top, people tend to suffer at the bottom.
“At the end of the day, all he has to do is make sure that certain Cabinet portfolios are given to certain parties,’’ said Nizam Bashir, adding that at least the parties would be happy even if some individuals might not be.
He said if Ismail Sabri decided to give Opposition leaders some non- Cabinet positions, they (the positions) must come with decision- making authority as opposed to being mere rubber stamp posts.
People’s Legal Team founder Dinesh Muthal concurred that the Cabinet positions must not revolve around political patronage.
He said Ismail Sabri was not appointed to please certain leaders and must learn from the mistakes made by the previous line-up.
“He is lucky that not only Muhyiddin but the entire Cabinet resigned.
“He should identify the failures of the previous government and avoid making the same mistakes,’’ said Dinesh.
He added that Ismail Sabri must also work to erase his current negative image by not putting together a bloated and inefficient Cabinet.
“The Prime Minister and his Cabinet have three main areas to concentrate on.
“Firstly, Covid-19 cases must be drastically reduced. Secondly, in addition to rebuilding the national economy, the new government must also focus on individuals and small economies. Thirdly, there must be political stability,’’ said Dinesh.
He said the previous administration had focused too much on the national economy while small businesses owned by individuals were suffering.
Dinesh said the situation was so bad that even traditional hardy mamak restaurants that had been able to weather previous economic challenges were closing down.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights director Fahri Azzat said Ismail Sabri must put together a Cabinet which could guide the nation out of the current quagmire.
“We are are in a big jam right now with a faltering economy.
“He has to alleviate the people’s suffering and not indulge in political horse trading as the people have had enough of that during the last administration,’’ said Fahri.
He added that the Cabinet must be a tight ensemble reflective of the nation’s financial constraints as opposed to a wasteful massive and bloated one.
“Those who did not perform well must not be allowed into the Cabinet again,” he said.
Fahri said the new government must realise that they were all being paid full salaries while many in the private sector had suffered pay cuts and reduced wages.