Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Youth and Renewal the Driving Forces Behind Najib’s Transformation Cabinet
Najib needs to fill up to 25 ministries and given that seven ministers from his previous line-up did not contest GE13 and three were defeated, he now has the perfect chance to usher in a new era of Government with his latest team.
According to reports, Najib is spending two days selecting his cabinet, which means a series of private meetings to match talent with portfolios. And just as he took control of the candidate selection process before GE13 that resulted in 30 per cent of new faces at a national level, the cabinet discussions are very much part of his personal commitment to reform.
As federal minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said Mondaym "It is his prerogative."
In fact, this is an opportunity to move on following the bickering of GE13 and remind the rakyat that they have elected a new-look Government that will not only continue the national transformation agenda, making Malaysia a high income and developed nation by 2020, but pick up the pace in order to re-engage voters.
As cabinet aspirant Khairy Jamaluddin has reminded us since GE13, this process is crucial to addressing the "trust deficit" with the rakyat.
Another issue Najib needs to tackle is the Chinese challenge exacerbated by demoralised MCA's plans to not take up any representative roles. Najib disagrees with this position and insists that there must be Chinese faces in his line-up as part of the reconciliation process in the wake of the poll.
Given the way the BN vote held up in Sabah and Sarawak, it's also likely that ministers from those states will win key portfolios. Najib's previous cabinet featured 12 ministers from East Malaysia and that number could now rise.
Whatever team he chooses, Najib will make sure it is a Government for all Malaysians regardless whom they supported at GE13. But he needs to have his new front bench briefed on their portfolios in quick time. The 13th Parliament is set to convene next month so it can deal with pressing business ahead of Ramadan in July.
Najib is likely to again select more ministers than he has portfolios available. In the last cabinet there were three ministers without portfolio, which answered to the Prime Minister's department including PERMANDU head Datuk Idris Jala.