Anwar expected to meet King to present list of deputy ministers on Dec 9

PETALING JAYA: Each ministry may only get one deputy minister except for key ones in line with the principle of a leaner administration under the new unity government, sources have said.

“It is likely that most ministries will get only one deputy except for key ones like Finance,” said sources, adding that it is likely that ministries where two or portfolios had been merged into one, may get an extra hand.

Sources have also said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as early as Friday (Dec 9) to present the list of candidates for the deputy ministerial posts in the Cabinet.

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“The Prime Minister will present the list of names of deputies during the audience with the King. There is a possibility that it could be today,” said sources.

However, the event was not part of the premier’s schedule released by the Prime Minister’s Office to the press so far.

Some of the names that are likely to make the cut are those who have already served as deputy ministers in the previous governments.

The candidates include those who have served in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Pakatan Harapan government, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional administration as well as the governments led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“Overall the list has around 35 names and there are 28 Cabinet ministers. Hence few will get two deputies especially those which have been merged and seen as heavier portfolios,” the source said.

“As with the norm, both the deputy and minister will not be from the same party,” the source added.

Sources say some five deputies could be appointed from Sabah, including those from Parti Warisan Sabah.

Steven Sim (PH-Bukit Mertajam), Liew Chin Tong (PH-Iskandar Puteri), Teo Nie Ching (PH-Kulai), Sim Tze Tzin(PH-Bayan Baru), Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan(BN-Pontian), Datuk Mohd Shahar Abdullah (BN-Paya Besar) and Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Warisan-Kota Belud) are among the names or previous deputy ministers who are expected to be part of Anwar’s administration.

There are some new faces speculated to make the cut. They include Young Syefura Othman(Bentong), Adam Adli Abd Halim (Hang Tuah Jaya), Chong Chieng Jen (Stampin), Chan Foong Hin (Kota Kinabalu), Hassan Abdul Karim (Pasir Gudang) and Rodziah Ismail (Ampang).

Former Melaka chief minister and Alor Gajah MP Adly Zahari, was said to be one of Parti Amanah Negara’s candidate for a deputy post.

It is also expected that the Rural and Regional Development Ministry led by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi could get two deputies.

On Dec 2, Anwar unveiled a slightly smaller Cabinet than that of his predecessor – naming two Deputy Prime Ministers and 25 ministers.

The Prime Minister will also serve as the Finance Minister, a post he had held from 1991 until his sacking in 1998.

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