Political experts: It can boost the Cabinet’s image

PETALING JAYA: It is timely for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to carry out a Cabinet reshuffle to further strengthen service delivery to the public and boost the Cabinet’s image, say political experts.

“Although it is purely at the discretion of the Prime Minister to make any administrative and Cabinet changes, it is important to prioritise the needs of the people,” said constitutional and administrative law lecturer Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmood.

“I believe the government needs to quickly appoint the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister, as it is crucial for now in light of the local rice shortages and continuous food price hikes,” he said when contacted yesterday.

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Nik Ahmad Kamal was asked to comment on talk of a possible Cabinet reshuffle, which could take place as early as this week.

At the moment, Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali is temporarily taking on the role of the caretaker minister for the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry.

The post became vacant following the death of Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub in July.

Dr Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, also agreed on the need for a reshuffle.

“Perhaps we need more proactive doers along the lines of former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin,” he said.

Universiti Sains Malaysia political scientist Prof Datuk Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said that it’s almost a year of helming the government and the Prime Minister can evaluate the members of his own Cabinet.

“This includes those who should be retained, dropped or switched to different portfolios in order to strengthen the Cabinet delivery system and confidence among the masses.

“As it’s a unity government, certainly the number or position will reflect the component members of the unity government,” he added.He also proposed to the Prime Minister to consider including technocrats, academics and experts in certain areas to further boost the image of the Cabinet.

“It’s timely for such changes and it has to be Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government ‘Dream Team’ for the next four years,” said Sivamurugan.

Ilham Centre executive director Hisomuddin Bakar said that it was acceptable for the prime minister to fill the role of the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister due to issues involving cost of living, but he believes that there should not be any major changes.

“Perhaps at this point, it shouldn’t be a major Cabinet reshuffle. I also believe that there is a need for a second finance minister post.

“This is to further improve the existing Cabinet and by having capable leaders with vast experience in finance, it will help the prime minister revive the country’s economy,” he added.

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