No sitting back in driver’s seat, rakyat want action

PETALING JAYA: Newly minted Cabinet ministers must get cracking to ease the rakyat’s burden, say analysts.

Ilham Centre executive director Hisomuddin Bakar said Malaysians wanted swift action to put the nation back on the right track following the general election.

“Based on a study by Ilham, 79% of respondents wanted the government to improve the economy and also lower the cost of living due to rising prices of goods.

“The issue over inadequate supply of eggs may seem trivial to some but it is a big thing for the common folk,” he said yesterday.

“Cabinet ministers should be mindful because the rakyat will now place a high level of critical evaluation on the government’s performance,” he added.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim chaired the first meeting with the newly appointed Cabinet ministers in Perdana Putra after most of them had clocked in at their respective ministries.

The Cabinet line-up, consisting of 28 ministers and two Deputy Prime Ministers, was announced on Friday by Anwar, who is also helming the Finance Minister’s portfolio.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun said Anwar’s Cabinet had to be an action-oriented and responsive one.

“Anwar may or may not set specific targets for his ministers, but safe to say he would constantly keep them on their toes in terms of speedy and professional policy adoption and implementation,” he said.

He added that the new ministers will also have high expectations and demands for their respective ministries.

Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said a one-size-fits-all key performance index may not be suitable for the present Cabinet line up.

“The government should consider a happiness or unity index for the nation.

“This would be more apt following the recent divisive general election,” he said.

He said that ministers should also not waste time with rhetoric and immediately focus on the needs of the rakyat.

“The ministers should work as a team and no longer in silos with Anwar as their captain,” he added.

Among the areas of concern, he said, was reviving the economy and creating jobs for the thousands of unemployed graduates.

Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research senior fellow Dr Azmi Hassan said Cabinet ministers must be able to translate into action the policies which Anwar wants.

“Anwar is a hands-on leader. It is up to them to understand what he wants and translate it into their own respective KPIs,” he said.

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