Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a cabinet line-up early this week and unveiled a couple of surprises at the same time.
So, what are the surprises?
#1 – No Deputy Prime Minister
The PM revealed on last Monday that unlike previous versions of the Cabinet, Malaysia’s brand new government will not have a deputy prime minister. Instead, Muhyiddin has appointed four senior ministers to assist him.
Some may think that it is a good strategy by Muhyiddin which will help to ensure his political survival. Maybe if he chooses a deputy from any of the Perikatan Nasional component parties would have opened him to unhappiness and criticism from within the coalition?
#2 – From 55 to 70 Cabinet members?
Why did Muhyiddin decided to increase the numbers of cabinet members? Is it because of he needs to get a hold of as many MPs as possible lest they run away to another bloc?
By increasing the number of ministers and deputy ministers from East Malaysia, Muhyiddin was also ensuring better support from Sabah and Sarawak.
If we compared to the previous Pakatan Harapan administration, they had four full ministers and three deputy ministers from East Malaysia. Meanwhile, Muhyiddin’s has six full ministers and eleven deputies. Isn’t it clear enough what is the game played by Muhyiddin?
So, what is the similarity of Muhyiddin’s cabinet and the old Barisan Nasional line-up? Both are much larger than that of PH.
#3 – No youth
Those on the new Cabinet now seem to have an average age range in the late 50s. Even the Youth and Sport Minister aged 47 years old?
In comparison, the previous cabinet’s youngest minister, Syed Saddiq was just 25 when he was appointed for Youth and Sports. As a youth, I personally think that there is now a need for young politicians to step up because they are the one who must be able to understand the aspirations and concerns of the youth of Malaysia.
#4 – Lack of minorities
In fact, although Chinese and Indians together make up almost 30 per cent of Malaysia’s population, there is only one Chinese minister and one Indian minister in the rest of the cabinet.
In contrast, PH’s previous cabinet was far more ethnically diverse with five Chinese ministers and four Indian ministers.
Is the new government focusing on more Malay-centric policymaking?
Malaysia is a complex country made up by many different groups of people and races. Disregarding this fact could lead the new government and the entire country to chaos once again, and eventually even destruction.
In conclusion, what can people say about the new cabinet composition that was build after the successful of “Sheraton Move”, was to ensure Muhyiddin’s survival. The positions were created so that there would be enough seats to be divided among political parties in the coalition.