Reports of cabinet reshuffle mere rumours

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Reports claiming that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob plans for a minor cabinet reshuffle are rumours, sources close to the administration said.

On Dec 30, the MalaysiaNow website speculated that a cabinet reshuffle might take place this month and that some Bersatu members of the cabinet are on the chopping block.

Citing sources, the report claims that Ismail Sabri was being pressured by his own party – Umno – to sideline Bersatu.

Today, Suara.TV – a news website operated by Enigma Fikir Sdn Bhd and led by one Ab Jalil Backer – speculated that Ismail Sabri had already met Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin to discuss the reshuffle.

Bernama

The website claimed that Ismail Sabri was unhappy with Abd Latiff Ahmad – the Mersing MP and Special Functions Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department charge of the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) – as well as Rina Harun – the Titiwangsa MP and women, family and community development minister.

Both Abd Latiff and Rina are Bersatu members. Latiff retained his seat during the 2018 election on a BN ticket.

Suara.TV also claimed that Umno’s Halimah Mohamed Sadique – the Kota Tinggi MP and Unity Minister – was also on the chopping block.

When contacted, a source close to Ismail Sabri rubbished the reports.

“As of now, there are no proposals to reshuffle the cabinet. These are mere rumours,” the source said.

Another source close to the Ismail Sabri administration insisted to Malaysiakini that the reports were speculations and that the reports were a form of motivation for the ministers to buck up.

“It is a reminder that ministers need to perform better and fulfil the people’s aspirations.

“Whether or not there will be a reshuffle depends on the prime minister,” he said.

Ismail Sabri currently counts on the support of around 115 MPs – slightly over half the Parliament membership. He has also secured a confidence and supply agreement with the Pakatan Harapan bloc, which expires in July.

Meanwhile, Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu told Malaysiakini that he believed the reports were speculation as well.

“It’s better for us to focus on helping flood victims and helping the economy to recover. Thank you,” Faizal said. – Malaysiakini