Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's new cabinet is designed to ensure Umno reclaims Putrajaya in the next general election by taking over four key ministries from its allies, said political analysts.
Universiti Malaya's Awang Azman Awang Pawi referred to the rural development, communications and multimedia, and housing and local government ministries which were previously helmed by Bersatu, as well as the entrepreneur development and cooperatives ministry, previously spearheaded by GPS.
These ministries will have a huge influence over small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the rural Malay heartland, which was the Umno/BN fortress in the past elections, said Awang.
"I see it as a cabinet line-up for the next general elections, as the key portfolios are taken over by Umno," he added.
The Rural Development Ministry, which is entrusted to address poverty in rural areas, oversees statutory bodies include Mara and Felcra...