QUESTION TIME | Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad together with his Pakatan Harapan colleagues is going to have a tough time coming up with a cabinet list which he probably has to finalise before the holidays are over.
Uppermost in his mind in deciding the list has to be the way the parties comprising Harapan have performed, the racial composition of the country, and most important of all the commitment, dedication, integrity, ability, competency and qualifications of those who would-be ministers.
Next, he should consider that the process of change was started by many a long time ago and these people should be given preference over others who became MPs in the last stages of the campaign when the momentum had already been created towards a new government.
In keeping with his role as overseer of change, and maintain focus, he should hold no other position other than that of the prime minister, leaving him free to poke his nose into all areas to ensure the overall principles and promises agreed under Harapan’s manifesto are adhered to.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, also a medical doctor which thereby marks the first time that the top two posts are simultaneously held by medical doctors, is head of PKR and unofficially holds the mandate of ensuring a smooth transition to her husband Anwar Ibrahim for prime minister when the time comes. She could take a portfolio such as home to aid this process.
Over and above these, it would be good for the great Lim Kit Siang to be given a role in the cabinet in keeping with his long track-record and stature as one who championed good governance in government over many decades, never wavering from the good fight throughout.
The others who will become ministers as a matter of course because of their positions in the party are DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, and Warisan’s Shafie Apdal.
It is relevant to consider the strength of each party in the coalition which is as shown in the table.
If we assume a reduced 24-person cabinet, then the numbers would roughly be PKR 9 cabinet positions, DAP 8, Bersatu 2-3, Amanah 2, and Warisan 1-2. In practice, these ratios may not be adhered to closely because of other considerations...