There will be only twelve in the Cabinet.
I’ll predict the 10 ministers, joining the prime minister and deputy prime minister.
This is actually wonderful, if even after Anwar Ibrahim returns this approach is retained.
Too large a Cabinet like 36 during Abdullah Badawi’s 2004-2008 term would turn Cabinet meetings into rubber stamping exercise, since it is crowded. Too many people involved. Not opportunities to debate issues by the most important people in government.
Like most Commonwealth countries, there should be the main Cabinet, and then sub-cabinet/or junior ministers.
The main economy minister sits in Cabinet, and then holds own sub-cabinet meeting with junior ministers like EPU, entrepreunership, international trade and industry and domestic trade.
But I believe right now, people want to know who will be in, and not the operations.
Here we go
The Mahathir Cabinet
There are four parties, and it would be odd if any of them do not get at least two minister spots.
DAP an extra since they have the most number of seats in the majority, but not contributing neither pm nor dpm.
So it would be DAP 3, PKR 2, Amanah 2, Pribumi 2 and Warisan 1.
With the bonus of speaker of the house to DAP, I am guessing.
DAP’s three will likely not include Lim Guan Eng, who is Penang chief minister. They’d probably propose Tony Pua (Damansara), P.Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat) and Hannah Yeoh (Segambut).
PKR’s three, that’s a huge toss up. There may be concerns about putting Nurul Izzah Anwar as there would be two family members in it, with Anwar Ibrahim re-emerging in the days to come.
Rafizi Ramli may only come in later using the senator route, since I sense Mahathir wants to stick to the MPs only.
Saifuddin Abdullah (Indera Mahkota) is the only one with recent experience and plus his position as Pakatan secretariat chief, he will be likely be on the list.
Selangor’s Azmin Ali is impregnable in Selangor and may keep his aspirations to be PM in terms to come by raising the bar with Selangor which can go strength to strength without a hostile federal government.
Kuala Langat’s Xavier Jeyakumar has executive experience in Selangor, and serves as party vice-president, he might find his name in the hat. Other outsiders would be Wong Chen (Subang), Sivarasa Rasiah (Sungai Buloh) or Baru Bian (Selangau).
Baru Bian to up the Sarawak numbers might be the right choice.
Amanah will pick one from Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (Kuala Selangor), Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Parit Buntar), Mahfuz Omar of Pokok Sena, Salahuddin Ayub (Pulai) or Khalid Samad (Shah Alam) to join party president Mat Sabu (Kota Raja).
I reckon Salahuddin Ayub as deputy president, and aptly from Johor, would be picked to join Mat Sabu.
Pribumi will not have Mentri Besar Muhyiddin Yassin doubling up, or would it not?
If both Muhyiddin and Mukhriz stay to run their states of Johor and Kedah respectively, then there would be keen competition to be the Pribumi choice.
Warisan President Shafie Apdal is almost certain to stay in Sabah, his new base, as chief minister or leader of opposition. There are highs and lows by the hour in Sabah and suspicion is that with today’s announcements by Mahathir, that the new party Warisan will triumph there.
This will bring deputy president Darrell Leiking to the spotlight. There would be a nice feel to it if a Sabahan is defence minister and therefore in charge of the waters off the most eastern Malaysian state.
So there is some clarity but there would be about three surprises when the list comes out tomorrow.