Â KUALA LUMPUR: The new Cabinet list is being finalised as Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak huddles down with the leaders of Barisan Nasional component parties in the next couple of days.
The Prime Minister is expected to shrink the size of the Cabinet to make it more efficient to ensure faster decisions. He could unveil his Cabinet as early as tomorrow.
MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat was the first to meet Najib yesterday morning. The Transport Minister arrived at the Prime Minister’s Office at 10.50am and left about an hour later. Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who arrived just before noon, was seen leaving before 1pm.
Later, while campaigning in Bukit Gantang, Ong told reporters that he had submitted a list of names to Najib to be considered for the new Cabinet line-up.
“The list contains names of leaders according to their hierarchy in the party and their status as MPs,” he said after meeting the people of Simpang New Village.
He declined to reveal the number of names submitted and said he had no knowledge of the size of Najib’s Cabinet.
“That’s the Prime Minister’s prerogative,” he said, adding that there was no point in speculating what the quota for MCA was in the new line-up.
Dr Koh declined to speak to reporters when met at the entrance to the Putra Perdana complex.
When contacted by The Star, Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri aimeph Pairin Kitingan confirmed that he has an appointment with the Prime Minister in Putrajaya at 4pm today.
He, however, declined to reveal if the meeting was to discuss PBS’ representation in the Cabinet or whether he would bring a list of names to be recommended for posts.
United Pasok Momogun Kadazan-dusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said he had met the Prime Minister, but declined to reveal details.
The new Umno president is only expected to meet Barisan leaders from Sarawak after today because they are busy with the Batang Ai by-election.
Najib is expected to announce his Cabinet line-up before the end of the week when he is scheduled to leave for Thailand to attend the Asean + 3 summit.
The new Cabinet is expected to be a smaller than the present one which has 27 ministries with 31 ministers.
The component parties, said sources, are being told that all of them must make sacrifices so that the new Cabinet would be “leaner and meaner”.
At present Umno has 22 ministers, MCA four, and one each for MIC, Upko, SUPP, PBB and PBS.
Najib is said to be considering the merger of several ministries as a way of reducing the size of the Cabinet to between 20 and 24.
However, Umno insiders said he could retain the number of ministries but create a new council of ministers comprising only senior members and that only these people would have full Cabinet status.
Others would be ministers and would only be invited to attend Cabinet meetings when issues pertaining to their ministries are discussed, they said.
Source : The Star