PM: Give me a bit more time

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says he needs more time to consider the views of all parties before announcing his leaner Cabinet.

“Unlike before, this unity government involves many parties. Before making any decision, I have to listen to all views.

“The problem now is that the Cabinet will be downsized,” he told reporters after chairing a Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting, the first since his appointment as Prime Minister, here yesterday.

He said the previous practice with regard to Cabinet posts involved many appointments.

“Previously, you could just slot in 50, 60 or 70 (members). And if this was not sufficient, there were appointments of special envoys and advisers. I am not willing to do that,” Anwar said.

On calls not to include Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the Cabinet line-up due to his court charges, Anwar said all views would be considered and that the matter was still being discussed.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan had called for Ahmad Zahid to be included in discussions on the new Cabinet line-up.

On the view of Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh that there was no need for a vote of confidence on the Prime Minister to be called when Parliament convened on Dec 19, Anwar said it was the DAP MP’s view based on the Federal Constitution.

He said Ramkarpal was correct in his interpretation of the Constitution that there was no need to call for the vote as Pakatan had already secured a majority.

“We are of the view that it should not only be a matter of fulfilling the Constitution, but I think the political perception of legitimacy is also important. So, we are going ahead with the vote of confidence on Dec 19,” he said.

According to Anwar, the first order of the meeting would be tabling the confidence motion.

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