Ismail Sabri's govt: Who's in, who's out and what it means
Published:  Aug 27, 2021 9:28 AM
Updated: 1:57 PM

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in unveiling his new cabinet today, tried not to rock the boat by largely maintaining the balance of power.

Many factors were at play - suitability, balancing of coalitions, party politics and factionalism.

Ismail Sabri also had to address the long-standing complaint that Umno was getting fewer government positions despite having the most MPs in government.

Even though the previous Muhyiddin Yassin government was criticised for being bloated with a total of 70 ministers (including the prime minister) and deputy ministers compared to the 55 in the Pakatan Harapan government, Ismail Sabri chose not to rock the boat.

The prime minister maintained the exact same number of ministers and deputy ministers as in Muhyiddin's cabinet and mostly kept the same people.

Excluding Ismail Sabri, there were only five new ministers while 16 were retained in the same portfolio and another 10 were reshuffled.

As for deputy ministers, there were only four new faces, 23 were retained in the same portfolio while another 11 were reshuffled.

The following are the major takeaways from Ismail Sabri's new cabinet:

Umno expands

During the previous cabinet under Muhyiddin, who is also the Bersatu president, Bersatu controlled the most number of ministers and deputy minister positions.

With Umno's Ismail Sabri now at the helm, he sought to make Umno more dominant, at least in terms of the number of ministers.

The party composition of Ismail Sabri and Muhyiddin's cabinet is as follows:

Ismail Sabri's cabinet now has more Umno ministers than Bersatu. While trying to achieve this, the Bera MP was mindful not to "take too much" from Bersatu.

This was done by dropping Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, who is not aligned to any party, in the new cabinet.

It freed up one slot for Umno. Umno also took one slot from Bersatu for a total of two additional ministerial positions.

However, Bersatu still retains the most number of deputy ministers, albeit at a reduced level.

Similar to the formula for ministers...

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