DAP veteran Teresa Kok and newbie Yeo Bee Yin are among the party’s candidates set to be inducted into the 26-member cabinet of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, highly placed sources said.
Teresa will lead the Federal Territory Ministry, while chemical engineer and Bakri MP Yeo, a Petronas scholar who holds a masters from Cambridge, is expected to be the new energy, technology and environment minister.
PKR representatives will include its Sarawak chief, Baru Bian, as works minister, vice-president Xavier Jayakumar (water, land and natural resources), secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution (domestic trade and consumer affairs) and Indera Kota MP and Pakatan Harapan secretary Saifuddin Abdullah (higher education).
Amanah’s Mujahid Yusof will be foreign minister, while the party’s combative Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad will look after Islamic affairs as minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
PH’s Sabah ally, Parti Warisan Sabah, will be represented by its Penampang MP Darell Leiking (international trade and industry), Batu Sapi MP V.K. Liew (law) and Silam MP Mohamaddin Ketapi (tourism).
As widely speculated, Bersatu’s Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is the new youth and sports minister, while its Alor Gajah MP, Mohd Redzuan Yusof, will helm the revived public enterprises ministry.
And for the hard work put in by Hindraf in mobilising ethnic Indian support for PH, P. Waythamoorthy will be in the cabinet to look after indian affairs.
But it is not know if he will be given a ministry of his own or operate as a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. As he is not an MP, he will be made a senator to fill the position.
“The candidates were picked based on their credentials. Yeo is a top scholar and has impressed the prime minister with her academic credentials,” a source told The Malaysian Insight.
It is learnt that the names will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after Hari Raya.
Another source said Baru was picked for the Works Ministry as he was well-placed to prioritise projects in Borneo.
“Pakatan wants development work to continue in Sarawak and Sabah. Enough infrastructure has been built in the peninsula and Baru would be the best person for the job. He knows what is needed,” said the source, who added another two names could be added now that Sarawak Barisan Nasional has disintegrated and Gabungan Parti Sarawak appears to be PH friendly.
“They too may join the federal pact (PH) at the national level, and their candidates will be invited to sit in the Federal Cabinet,” said the source.
The prime minister also has had a rethink on higher education, and that is why it is now kept apart from the Education Ministry, paving the way for Saifuddin’s return to the ministry as a full minister. The former Umno man was made deputy higher education minister when Najib Razak assumed office as prime minister in 2009 before being dropped in a cabinet after the 2013 election.
Another source noted that apart from Saifuddin, Liew had connections with the previous BN government.
Liew was a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Law.
Saifuddin left Umno and joined PKR while Liew, who was Sabah Liberal Democratic Party chief left the party under acrimonious circumstances.
Liew linked up with Warsian on the eve of the 14th general election and was given the Batu Sapi seat to contest.
The Entrepreneur Ministry is being revived to ensure there is a dedicated ministry to support Malay entrepreneurs. With this ministry now being reintroduced, all related units like Mara, will go back to ministry.
The ministry was abolished by Najib in 2009. The last minister was former Johor menteri besar Mohammed Khaled Nordin (2004-2009), and prior to that Nazri Abdul Aziz (1999-2004) and Mustapa Mohamed (1995-1999).
Presently, there are 13 ministers in the Pakatan Harapan government and Dr Mahathir had said the total number of ministers in his administration will not exceed 30.
Source : The Malaysian Insight