Speculation continues to be rife over the names involved in an impending cabinet reshuffle following Dr Maszlee Malik’s resignation as education minister.
The names mentioned the most at the grassroots level in the reshuffle, largely agreed to be a minor one, are Datuk Seri Rina Harun, P Waytha Moorthy, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, and Datuk Seri Redzuan Yusof.
Talk is rife that Rina will be one of the first to be brought to the chopping board, a possibility considering her position as the Bersatu Srikandi chief.
The post is in the crosshairs of Kepala Batas division chief Azlina Mehtab Mohd Ishaq, a lawyer.
“I am not contesting against Rina, but I am only contesting the seat of the Srikandi chief.
“This is in the spirit of democracy and I feel I can carry the responsibility.
“As a division chief, I truly understand the issues at the grassroots level.
“I can relate to their predicament and there is room for improvement (in Srikandi),” Azlina said, confirming her intention.
Azlina is a party division leader, unlike Rina, who despite being the Titiwangsa member of parliament, is said to be lacking grassroots support and holds no divisional posts.
Azlina’s campaign may ruin Rina’s chances of remaining in the cabinet.
A Bersatu insider has confirmed that Rina does not hold any position at her division in Sepang.
“She is just a normal Bersatu member. She doesn’t have a strong grassroots presence, so I don’t know how she is going to defend her Srikandi chief’s post,” the source said.
Also said to be sharing the same fate is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of national unity and social wellbeing, Waytha Moorthy, whom observers claim has not promoted unity effectively.
The spike in racial issues has led to many questioning his role.
A lack of closure in cases involving different races in the country is unsettling.
The “flying car minister”, Datuk Seri Redzuan Yusof’s tenure in the Entrepreneur Development Ministry started on the wrong footing due to his inconsistent messages about his pet project. Many has been quick to call for his removal from the cabinet.
Entrepreneur Development is an important ministry that aims to democratise the economy and uplift the standard of small- and medium enterprises, among others.
Up to now, its mission aligns in tandem with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, which was launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Redzuan’s achievements and support at the grassroots level do not indicate that he will be axed from the cabinet.
However, sources in PH said the prime minister might think twice about maintaining a figure who usually finds himself at the receiving end of numerous criticisms.
“If he is dismissed (from the cabinet), it is because of his media team. They failed spectacularly in uplifting and polishing their boss’ image to the media,” said one source.
Another source said Redzuan might have a fighting chance given his track record.
“Dr Mahathir has always been ahead of his time, talking about the future and technology. So far, Pak Wan has been the only one trying to complement Dr Mahathir’s aspirations in this aspect. If Pak Wan goes, it wouldn’t make much difference in PH, but it will be felt in Bersatu due to his ability to connect with those at the grassroots level,” the source said.
Several other names are said to be repositioned in different portfolios, among them Azmin, and former minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed making a comeback to the cabinet.
Among others speculated to join the cabinet are Damansara MP Tony Pua, Masjid Tanah MP Mas Ermieyati and Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
Pua, Mas and Nik Nazmi are no greenhorns and they have experience and strong grassroots support.
To put things into perspective, Pua garnered a 106,903-majority vote in the last election, Mas is a two-term MP and was a deputy minister and Nik Nazmi has, for a long time, been the voice of the youth on the opposition side. – NST