KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will name his Cabinet line-up at 3pm tomorrow after getting the Yang diPertuan Agong’s approval.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office today said Najib will have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at 11am tomorrow to seek his consent for the new cabinet.
Sources say the Prime Minister’s list includes a mix of old and new faces, including some who will have to be appointed senators.
It is understood that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be the deputy prime minister.
Among the Umno ministersÂ likely to be retained from the current Cabinet are Datuk Seri
Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Nazri Aziz,Â Datuk Seri Rais Yatim and Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed.
It is learnt that Gerakan president Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon could join the Cabinet as a senator.
Earlier, several ministers said they have yet to be informed if they will be part of Najib’s cabinet.
“He is keeping his cards very close to his chest. The current ministers don’t even know if they are on the list,” a source told The Malaysian Insider.
Najib has met all Barisan Nasional component party leaders this week to discuss potential names.
It is learnt he wants to trim the cabinet size to just over 20 by merging some ministries. It is understood the post of second finance minister could be dropped as several corporate figures and GLC heads have declined to join the cabinet.
The criteria for the new line-up are they must have university degrees and are not seen as having any political baggage or corrupt.
However, most Umno and Barisan Nasional politicians are seen as having baggage or are corrupt, leaving Najib with very few options.
As many as 15 ministers could be new, including some returning to the cabinet, a few deputy ministers being promoted and possibly a corporate figure, another source said.
The bulk of new faces will be from Umno as six ministers lost in the party polls last month.
One of them who lost and who has confirmed resigning is Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Shahrir Samad.
An Umno source said there was no guarantee that those who won or retained their place in the party supreme council will be named to the cabinet.
However, the top Umno office bearers are almost guaranteed of being in the front bench.
“Only the top guys know they will get something. Everyone else is in the dark,” the Umno source told The Malaysian Insider.
Najib had said he will reshuffle the cabinet this week ahead of his first trip abroad as prime minister when he attends the Asean+3meeting in Pattaya tomorrow.
Local newspapers have speculated on the new cabinet with some reporting at least 10 ministers could be dropped.
Among those likely to face the axe include Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed, Minister in PM’s Department Senator Tan Sri Amirsham A. Aziz, Energy, Telecommunications and Water Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor and Women,Family and Community Affairs Minister Datuk Ng Yen Yen.
Malaysia’s sixth prime minister could also face a headache of naming ministers as Tun Dr Mahathir had warned him against appointing Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who defeated his son in the party polls.
It is now understood that Khairy will not be named to the cabinet, in a repeat of former Umno Youth leader Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s status in 1993 when he crossed Mahathir.
Mahathir, who ruled the country for 22 years before retiring in 2003, has called Khairy corrupt.
He has accused Khairy and father-in-law Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who succeeded him as PM, of undermining his legacy.
Another hiccup for Najib is the bigger defeats in two by-elections yesterday that reflected the poor confidence in his and Umno’s leadership of the country.
Source : The Malaysian Insider