Tok Pa to rejoin cabinet? Speculation rife reshuffle coming soon

Modified 22 Aug 2019, 7:38 am

Speculation is rife that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to reshuffle his cabinet, with two reports stating that former international trade and industry minister Mustapa Mohamed is almost certain to become a minister.

Reports also claimed that the reshuffle would involve the reorganising of portfolios as opposed to replacing any of the current ministers.

Oriental Daily reported that Mustapha's inclusion would add an experienced politician to the cabinet line-up.

Mustapa, who is also known as Tok Pa, held his last cabinet post from 2009 until 2018 in the then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s cabinet.

The Jeli MP has since joined Bersatu after the 14th general election.

According to Oriental Daily, Mahathir had discussed the impending reshuffle with DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, and would hold a meeting with other Pakatan Harapan leaders soon.

Sinchew Daily, however, said Mahathir had informed ministers about the upcoming reshuffle during yesterday’s cabinet meeting and met with Pakatan Harapan leaders to discuss the matter last night.

Both reports claimed that there would little changes for ethnic Chinese ministers in the cabinet.

In addition, they claimed Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is expected to retain her post as deputy prime minister since there is still no timeline for Mahathir’s power transition with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, who is also Wan Azizah's spouse.

Meanwhile, government sources contacted by Malaysiakini also confirmed that a reshuffle would take place but differed on the timing, with one claiming "very soon" while another expecting the premier to wait until after Malaysia Day on Sept 16.

The speculated reshuffle comes amid mounting public anger with the current administration over certain issues such as the decision to allow the Lynas rare earth plant to continue its operation in Malaysia, the introduction of Jawi khat (calligraphy) in schools and the controversy surrounding Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

Mahathir had previously rated his ministers, some of whom have courted flak for their lacklustre performance, at 'five out of 10'.

On May 5, speaking at a function to commemorate the first anniversary of Harapan's general election victory, the prime minister, however, said his cabinet members are learning the ropes fast.

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