Friday, 30 Aug 2019
PUTRAJAYA: A vacancy in the Cabinet may only happen when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad steps down as Prime Minister, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
The Deputy Prime Minister said there is no issue about no current vacancy in the Cabinet.
“There is no vacancy, so?
“I guess (there will only be a vacancy in Cabinet) when the Prime Minister vacates the seat as promised,” Dr Wan Azizah said to reporters after a visit to CyberSecurity Malaysia on Friday (Aug 30).
On Thursday (Aug 29), the Prime Minister was asked if the time was right to bring in PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to join his Cabinet team.
Dr Mahathir responded that there is no vacancy in the Cabinet for now, and there is no intention to increase the number of ministers.
“At the moment, no minister wants to resign. If someone resigns and there is a vacancy, then we will fill it,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying.
Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/08/30/wan-azizah-if-dr-m-steps-down-then-there-will-be-a-cabinet-vacancy#ZXUyLmk5qblmpPzU.99
KUALA LUMPUR: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today said he never offered himself to be a minister, following Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement that there is “no room” for him in the Cabinet.
“I have never offered myself to be a member of the Cabinet.
“I am tied to the Pakatan Harapan consensus that I should give full space for Mahathir to lead the present Cabinet,” Anwar told a press conference after chairing a meeting of the parliamentary caucus on reform and governance today.
Last night, Mahathir said Anwar could not be a minister because “we are not having any change or any increase in the number of members of the Cabinet”.
“Since nobody has indicated they want to resign, we have no vacancy,” he said after chairing a PPBM Supreme Council meeting at the Perdana Leadership Foundation.
Today, Anwar maintained that the current understanding was he would assume the prime minister’s post at the right moment, adding that he had never proposed to become a minister before.
“There is no issue at all on whether I would want to be a member of the Cabinet,” he said.
PH agreement on succession must be respected
I am keen to know what message Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was trying to impart when he said yesterday that there was no room for PKR president Anwar Ibrahim in the Cabinet.
Is it because there would not be any vacancies in the Cabinet or because Mahathir thinks that Anwar does not deserve a minister’s position, at least for the time being?
Or, is it because Anwar is destined for a higher position? In other words, the post of prime minister when Mahathir relinquishes his position?
It is strange why Mahathir had to say this when Anwar had never requested for a minister’s post in the first place.
Now, what is going on?
Are there sinister forces out to derail the PH’s succession plan that was agreed upon by the PH component parties before the last general election?
What is the necessity for Mahathir to broach the matter of a post for Anwar when the matter was never raised in the first place.
Neither was there any indication that he replied to a question posed by a reporter.
Yes, Mahathir has on countless occasions said that Anwar would succeed him. Is there a change of plan?
For all intents and purposes, there is no significant departure from the position, even with the circulation of a sex video, implicating Economics Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.
While Mahathir might be clear that Anwar is the right person to succeed him, there are rumours now and then that make it a little uncertain whether Anwar will really succeed Mahathir.
The PH leadership made a mistake in not stipulating a time frame for Mahathir to hand over power. But, even if this was so, it was not intended for Mahathir to stay in power for one full term.
Of course, getting the country on the right track economically is important, but then this argument is highly subjective, for nobody really knows the exact time for normalcy.
It could be three years or one term or even might go on for two terms.
Is it really fair to keep Anwar waiting on the sidelines while time is taken to hand over power?
What is really preventing Mahathir from handing over power?
The scenario is not that simple and straightforward.
Umno and PAS, given the chance, might act as spoilers of the PH’s succession plan.
They might not really be interested in propping up Mahathir or ensuring that Anwar remains on the sidelines, but more keen to strike in unison to destabilise the PH government to take over power.
I hope Mahathir realises the devilish game Umno and PAS are playing in this game of thrones.
Talk of inviting Umno leaders, at least some of them, within the fold of PPBM might not be good for the solidarity of PH.
I am thankful to Mahathir for having provided a crucial leadership for the great election victory against BN.
But let’s not forget the great sacrifices Anwar made for bringing about political reformasi that made the general election victory possible.
Let us remember the contributions of Anwar for the nation and the agony he and family went through in bringing about political change.
Let us also not forget the sacrifices made by DAP leaders in forging the PH coalition to take on BN.
Mahathir should cease raising matters that might not be in keeping with the spirit and substance of the pre-election agreement to pave the way for Anwar.
Let us celebrate the country’s 62nd Merdeka with commitment to fairness and justice.
Let us stay committed to what was agreed upon to prevent BN from coming back to power.
P Ramasamy is deputy chief minister II of Penang.
The views expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.