Perikatan unveils shadow Cabinet, PM unnamed

Let’s convene: Hamzah chairing a meeting with Perikatan Nasional portfolio leaders at the Bersatu headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition coalition Perikatan Nasional (Perikatan) has named its shadow Cabinet but stopped shy of naming a prime ministerial candidate, although Bersatu chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin looks the most likely choice.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, who announced the list at a media conference yesterday, said the line-up is more focused on keeping in line with the changes made in the last Cabinet reshuffle on Dec 12.

Hamzah, who is Bersatu secretary-general, is also missing from the line-up as are PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang and deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

Asked about who would be shadowing the Prime Minister, Hamzah merely stated that the Perikatan chairman is Muhyiddin, the eighth PM.

“The time will come when you will know who our choice is for Prime Minister (if Perikatan wins Putrajaya). I do not think we need to announce who our prime ministerial candidate is.

“Muhyiddin is my (Bersatu) president. There is nothing wrong with him. He was brought down (as the eighth prime minister) because a group of Barisan Nasional MPs withdrew their support.

“Is it fair to say he stepped down? No. There is nothing wrong for me to promote him as a Prime Minister.

“Why do we suddenly have to say we have someone else now when he is the chairman of Perikatan?” asked Hamzah.

He also said that there is no unhappiness between the parties on who the PM would be.

There has been much talk recently on Terengganu Menteri Besar and PAS vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar being his party’s choice for prime minister.

Samsuri, who was elected as Kemaman MP last year, was absent from the list named by Hamzah yesterday.

Perikatan’s shadow Cabinet comprises Finance (Datuk Seri Radzi Jidin), Economy (Mohd Syahir Che Sulaiman), International Trade and Industry (Datuk Dr Ku Abd Rahman Ku Ismail), Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (Datuk Rosol Wahid), and Rural and Regional Development (Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim).

It is also made of Agriculture and Food Security (Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee), Entrepreneur Development and Co-operatives (Datuk Muslimin Yahaya), Home (Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan), Defence (Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz), Law and Institutional Reform (Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh), Sabah and Sarawak Affairs (Datuk Ali Biju) and Communications (Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan).

The shadow portfolios of education and higher education were given to Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah.

Others who made the list are Health (Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi), Transport (Khairil Nizam Khirudin), and Foreign Affairs (Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal).

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