SHAH ALAM: Who will be the next Home and Defence Ministers? DS Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as the 10th Prime Minister on November 24. His next task is of course to form the cabinet from the unity government made of the coalition parties – PH, BN, GPS and others.
As the parliament is to convene on December 19 to discuss – among others the confidence vote and mini budget – it is likely Anwar will spend the next two weeks or so to fill up his Cabinet. While Anwar has stated that the Cabinet will be filled with technocrats, it is likely the national security portfolios – home and defence – will be handed to rank-and-file politicians.
From the coalition parties, there are at least four former defence ministers – Mohamad Sabu, Ismail Sabri, Hishammuddin Hussein and Zahid Hamidi. As Zahid has to defend himself in a CBT trial, he can be ruled out from contention. Hishammuddin who was also adamant in not wanting to support PH to become the government, can also be ruled out. Ismail being the PM9 is also unlikely to return to his former job.
Apart from the ministers, two current MPs – Liew Chin Tong and Shafie Afdal – are also former deputy defence ministers and could also be seen as candidates for Jalan Padang Tembak. Malaysian Defence is against Chin Tong though, for his defence of Mat Sabu’s former political secretary prior to his appointment to the post.
The political secretary was later charged with graft. Current Google search has not shown what happened to the case but I was told that he was found guilty and fined. This should also rule out Mat Sabu’s return to Jalan Padang Tembak.
Being a Sabahan and the Semporna MP, Shafie fit my suggestion earlier for a Sabahan or Sarawakian to be chosen for the national security portfolio. However, at 66, Malaysian Defence finds him unsuitable for the job. That said PM10 might think otherwise.
As for the Home minister post, Malaysian Defence is stumped. There are too many candidates in the coalition to choose from. Both Hishammuddin and Zahid were former Home Ministers but again their candidacy and even selection are doubtful for reasons I mentioned above.
So as usual my guess is as good as yours.
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