Time for Anwar to bite the bullet, make hard decisions


KUALA LUMPUR 4 Dis. – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has hinted that Cabinet reshuffle will happen before end of the year, which is this month.

With a support of 152 members of parliament, first, Anwar will have to decide if he wants a mini reshuffle, replacing new ministers in key portfolios and keeping the rest intact, or a quota-based major reshuffle reflecting all political parties in the ruling government.

Anwar rose to power amid high expectations for reforms and now one year after his cabinet ministers showcasing their performance and having given enough time for gauging the ministers’ performance, Anwar now needs to shuffle the deck.

As the finance ministry is the nerve centre of the government and impacts every other ministry, Anwar is expected to continue to helm the finance ministry.  As usual, UMNO members of parliament are expected to occupy high-profile portfolios in Anwar’s Cabinet.

As we know, Anwar’s Unity government currently has the support from 152 Member of Parliament after Bukit Gantang MP, Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, became the fifth Member of Parliament to announce his support for Anwar while Perikatan Nasional (PN) has the support from only 69 elected representatives whereas there has to be at least 112 seats to form a government.

Previously, Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain, Labuan MP Datuk Dr Suhaili Abdul Rahman, Jeli MP Zahari Kechik and Gua Musang MP Mohd Azizi Abu Naim had expressed their support for the prime minister.

There are further talks that behind the scenes negotiations are in progress that more MPs might cross over.

A year into his premiership, Anwar has consolidated power to command a strong majority in parliament, has solidified his power in parliament and drawn in once-lagging foreign investment giving him a clear runway to the remainder of his five-year mandate.

Anwar- floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. It’s refreshing to see such a hardworking PM trying to put Malaysia back on the right track.

Prime Minister Anwar has secured a total of RM63 billion in proposed investments in the US, mainly from technology giants such as Google, Enovix Corporation, Microsoft, TikTok and TPG, the second largest telecommunications company listed on the ASX.

The Prime Minister’s investment and trade missions and official visits to nine countries  from January to March this year have attracted estimated potential investments of RM 184.73 billion and potential exports of RM 3.22 billion.

And the World Bank projected Malaysia would grow 3.9% this year and 4.3% next year.

Four months ago Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hit back at those claiming he was “asleep” for the past eight months since the unity government was established.

“I was not asleep for the past seven months, we were working”, said Anwar this in response to detractors who criticised his administration.

He said that the government was working towards putting an end to hardcore poverty, adding that he has ordered his ministers to put an end to hardcore poverty within this year (2023).

Ending hardcore poverty. Is it doable? Critics may mock him, but Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has reiterated that he is determined to end the hardcore poverty and corruption that have become systemic in the country. He remains steadfast in his aim to end hardcore poverty by the end of this year.

Nevertheless, the poverty rate increased from 5.6 percent in 2019 to 6.2 percent in 2022 and 490, 000 households continue to fall below the average national poverty threshold. As of August 2023 the government was still working to raise over 114, 000 deeply impoverished households out of poverty.

The Malaysia Madani framework strives to eradicate poverty and stimulate the economy through restructuring and restoration.

The challenges faced by most Malaysians are due to the increasing cost of living, issues concerning the rising prices of goods and essentials. The M40 is also struggling to make ends meet amid the rising cost of goods and is experiencing “the middle child syndrome”.

Since Anwar has placed addressing the cost of living at the top of the agenda, we need full market reforms to remove cartels and monopolies, cut out the middlemen, improve competition and promote SMEs to increase supply options.

Cabinet reshuffle is a political decision. It’s likely that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar will have a major Cabinet reshuffle and more importantly he has to get rid of the under performers. — Xklusif

The writer has served the government of Malaysia at various ministries and agencies for 30 years.

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