Majority of Bersatu Leaders Want Cabinet Reshuffle

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Most Bersatu supreme council members are in favour of a cabinet reshuffle, following Pakatan Harapan’s defeat in the Tg Piai by-election, according to a party source.

They see a reshuffle as one way to help the coalition regain the public’s confidence after its crushing loss to Barisan Nasional and amid heavy criticism over its performance in the past 18 months as the federal government.

“It was a majority view,” said the source, who was privy to the meeting in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Dr Mahathir announced the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle yesterday after the meeting.

Bersatu candidate Karmaine Sardini lost to BN’s Wee Jeck Seng in the by-election last Saturday by 15,086 votes.

The size of the win was made more remarkable as Wee lost to Bersatu’s Dr Md Farid Md Rafik by 524 votes just 18 months earlier, in the 14th general election.

PH’s defeat is now being cast a rejection of its policies and prompted calls for Dr Mahathir’s resignation.

However, according to the party source, Dr Mahathir is not convinced that a cabinet reshuffle is the solution to PH’s problems.

The prime minister hinted at his reluctance during the press conference yesterday: “Reshuffle is not the way to restore the government’s position.

“Even if we did a reshuffle now, it will take time for the new person to get used to the job and it will take time to evaluate the person’s performance.

“Maybe, the new person won’t perform as well and there will be more requests for another reshuffle.

FMT

“It is as if a reshuffle is the answer to all our problems. It’s not so simple,” the PH chairman said.

One reason Dr Mahathir is not keen on a reshuffle is because Malaysia is due to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) 2020 meeting.

“There’s a lot of work to be done. Our big problem next year is we will host the Apec meeting and we cannot treat it lightly.

“It is one of the biggest international conferences,” he told reporters yesterday when asked when a cabinet reshuffle would take place.

Bersatu leaders at their meeting yesterday did not state any deadline for a cabinet reshuffle.

Publicly, Dr Mahathir said he would have to discuss the matter with other PH parties, as well as PH-friendly Parti Warisan Sabah.

Talk of a cabinet reshuffle has emerged now and then since PH formed the federal government last year, but Dr Mahathir had always denied it.

With the exception of Dr Mahathir and Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, the other 26 members of the cabinet are all first timers.

In the past 18 months, PH has taken hits from the public over several policy issues involving the cost of living, education, toll highways, aid for farmers and fishermen, delays in the fuel subsidy mechanism and its slow pace of reforms to laws and institutions.

In terms of parties, PKR has the most ministers at seven; Bersatu and DAP (6 each), Amanah (5), Warisan (3), and Hindraf (1). – TMI