Current Affairs, Opinion, Weekly Highlights

Cabinet Ministers Must Make “Bread and Butter” Issues Their Priority

Are the cabinet members merely twiddling their thumbs while waiting for the Parliament to be dissolved?

(Above): Media Statement by Publicity Secretary of DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Raja Ahmad Iskandar Fareez on Saturday, 16 July 2022

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri’s combined administration of Perikatan Nasional and Barisan Nasional has one of the largest cabinet sizes in Malaysia’s history. Yet, what are these ministers doing when Malaysians are facing a horde of challenges including that of skyrocketing cost of goods?

Are they just secretly hoping that recent controversial issues would divert people’s attention away from talking about living costs?

Meanwhile, the interest of the people continues to be sidelined. Recently, former Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching pushed for the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) to explain the distribution delay of tablets to underprivileged students under the Peranti Siswa programme. Earlier, the ministry clarified that the tablet would only be distributed in July. However, as July is now reaching its end, there has not been any updates on the status of these devices. This delay will only interrupt students’ learning process, especially at a crucial time where they need to prepare themselves to enter the job market.

Unfortunately, the same Communications and Multimedia Minister, Tan Sri Annuar Musa who bungled these tablets’ distribution, is the who has been tasked to head the most important task force of the day – the Jihad Against Inflation Special Task Force. Unsurprisingly, we have not seen any comprehensive plans outlined on how each ministry can assist Malaysians in addressing the rising costs. Are these ministers more interested in parading designer brands and plotting political manoeuvres rather than putting in effort to solve people’s problems? Not to mention the dozens of advisors and political appointees including those in Government Linked Companies (GLC), what brilliant ideas do they have to offer to ease people’s burden?

Though the 15th General Election (GE15) may be held at any moment from now, ministers should not use this as an excuse to shirk their responsibilities while enjoying the benefit of their offices.

It is also possible for GE15 not to be called this year, in which the current government’s term will expire on 15 July 2023, exactly five years after the members of the 14th Malaysian Parliament was sworn in. My message to the cabinet members, within this remaining year, please honor and fulfil your duties and responsibilities as ministers – do not sacrifice the needs of the people just for the sake of your own personal gain. 

Raja Ahmad Iskandar Fareez

Publicity Secretary of DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY)

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