Opposition MPs pan ‘recycled’ Cabinet line-up

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Ismail retained almost all the faces from Muhyiddin’s cabinet, swapping some of their portfolios and introducing a few new names.

Several MPs slammed the new Cabinet line-up today, labelling it as nothing more than a “recycled government”.

They claimed Ismail Sabri had “wasted” a chance to introduce real institutional reforms when he announced his Cabinet line-up.

DAP secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng described it as old wine in a new bottle.

“The announcement of the new cabinet line-up by the new Prime Minister with an almost identical line-up as the previous failed government has disappointed many who expected some fresh faces to find new solutions to the current Covid-19 pandemic and economic recession,” Lim said in a statement in response to the unveiling of the cabinet this morning.

“A recycled cabinet is no different from putting old wine in a new bottle that raises scepticism whether there are new solutions for the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crises as well as sufficient room for progressive institutional reforms.

Nazir Sufari/TMI

“The return of the cabinet of the previously failed PN government will put into doubt the commitment of the new prime minister to not only win the battle against Covid-19 and the economic crisis but will also raise scrutiny whether Ismail is genuine about undertaking concrete institutional reforms to protect our democratic and constitutional rights as expressed during the meeting with Pakatan Harapan three top leaders two days ago,”

Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri this morning unveiled his cabinet line-up which is set to be sworn in next Monday (Aug 30).

Many key positions such as that of finance, home, education, transport, works, and human resources saw the same faces retained from Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s line-up.

There is also no deputy prime minister named, with four “senior ministers” similar to Muhyiddin’s cabinet.

Ismail Sabri said the cabinet’s main task is to tackle Covid-19 and heal the economy and that each minister must also prove their performance within the first 100 days in office.

Citing yesterday’s record-high figures of 24,599 Covid-19 cases and 393 deaths, Lim said the current government must stop the previous failures of double standards in enforcement, policy flip-flops, U-turns in SOPs, and vaccination delivery delays, while having to implement robust testing programmes and mass screenings.

“It is imperative that we do not forget the lessons of the past so as not to repeat the failures of the previous prime minister,” he added,

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh took to Twitter to express her unhappiness with the line-up of ministers.

She regretted Ismail’s selection saying it was “just the same old composition of #KerajaanGagal” and that the same politicians were merely being rotated in Putrajaya.

“Ismail Sabri’s cabinet is none more inspiring than Muhyiddin’s cabinet,” she said.

Yeoh, who was the deputy women, family and community development minister in the Pakatan Harapan government, also questioned the omission of Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said from the cabinet.

“Children will have no reliable spokesperson…how can Azalina be excluded?” she asked.

She added that Azalina must be returned to the post of Dewan Rakyat speaker for checks and balances.

However, she commended Ismail on certain switches.

“Glad Takiyuddin is no longer Minister of Law. Wan Junaidi is definitely a better choice,” she said referring to Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Jaafar replacing PAS’ Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.

Takiyuddin is now the Energy and Natural Resources minister.

Yeoh also expressed disappointment that Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim had replaced Keterah MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa as the Federal Territories minister.

“FT Ministry went from Kelantan to Perlis MP. KL needs a KL voice!” she tweeted.

Yeoh also said Umno, under Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, suffered a great loss and claimed that the party had been sidelined by Ismail Sabri.

“But ultimately, Malaysians pay the greatest price for the same incompetency to rule,” she said.

PSM deputy chairperson S Arutchelvan said the whole appointment was very anti-climatic.

“The biggest mistake Ismail Sabri made is making the announcement live. Hype but what a disappointment for the rakyat. There was hardly any change.

“The only significant change was Khairy made the Health minister while retaining all the controversial ministers.

And it is still a fat cabinet. Big and bulky,” he said.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, meanwhile, said Ismail Sabri had “wasted” a chance to introduce real institutional reforms when he announced his Cabinet today.

The president of the unregistered Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda) questioned the selection, saying MPs in Umno and PAS who had shown their commitment to build the country had been overlooked.

“I see the Cabinet announcement from the Prime Minister just now as a ‘wasted opportunity’ to appoint good individuals. Why appoint another minister who is clearly not performing well? Why are leaders with bad records still part of this government?

Bernama

“So, the Kerajaan Gagal (Failed Government) previously only took leave of about two weeks before returning to duty,” he wrote on Facebook in an immediate reaction to the Cabinet announcement.

Warisan’s Sepanggar MP Azis Jamman, a former deputy minister in the Pakatan Harapan government chimed in, saying “My opinion is this is basically a mere change of curtains in a room.”

“Same old #kerajaangagal. You can already guess who the biggest losers of the whole episode are.”

Subang MP Wong Chen said while the new Cabinet line-up looked largely the same with minor reshuffles, he lauded the decision to change the health minister.

“The prime minister played safe, but his decision will not be enough to satisfy the public desire for meaningful changes. I also don’t think this will provide political stability within Umno, as the team that brought down Muhyiddin has not made any gains.”

In a Twitter post, Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin shared a similar opinion, saying: “Actually, this sounds more like a Cabinet reshuffle.”

Sam Tham/The Star