I had in an article posted on Thursday, April 2, 2009, reasoned out as to who would be the likely candidates to be part of Najib's 'reformed cabinet', as well as those who would be told to take the exit door. Though the list is not all that accurate, I am pleased to note that those whom I had expected not to be named are almost perfect, and they are Muhammad Muhammad Taib, Azalina Othman, Noraini Ahmad, Syed Hamid Albar and Nor Mohd Yacob.
I also did not give Khairy Jamaluddin a chance for obvious reasons, but I least expect Muhkriz to be made the International Trade & Industry Deputy Minister. I do however believe that the choice of Muhkriz is favourable, as he has the charisma and is said to be clean. I do expect some disgruntlement among UMNO youth, and to add greater insult to Khairy, his deputy is also made a Deputy Minister. Where then lies the future of Khairy, and was Tun Dr. Mahathir instrumental in the choice of Muhkriz, and dumping Khairy?
I had however failed in my predictions of the four top UMNO leaders i.e. Muhyiddin, Ahmad Zahid, Hishamuddin and Shafie Afdal, but the position offered to them are fairly significant.
Ahmad Zaid whom I thought would have been better at Education Ministry, is now the new Defence Minister. He is no alien to the ministry, for he was in the 80's the Political Secretary to Naijb. One knows him for his fiery speeches during his days as the UMNO Youth leader, but one can be surprised at his gentle demeanor if one gets to know him. I know, the Armed Forces will only be too pleased to have Ahmad Zahid as their new minister.
I also believe that Shafie Afdal fits well as the new Rural & Regional Development Minister. He now has every reason to move more frequently to the interior of Sabah and Sarawak where rural development is most needed. Having served in the two East Malaysian states many times, I am of the opinion that rural Sabah and Sarawak deserves more attention than their counterpart in the peninsular. And both the state governments has not done enough for the rural folks for last four decades.
The Armed Forces should be proud to have its Religious Corps Director Maj Gen Dato Jamil Khir appointed the Religious Affairs Minister. This will be the second time an army general is appointed to the post; the first being Brig Gen Dato Hamid Zainal Abidin.
Finally, I am pleased that Najib retains Rais Yatim, the old crusader. He has been an outspoken critic against money politics during the last UMNO general assembly, and to lose him at this stage will not be wise. Being sort of an 'elder' in the cabinet, his experience in government can be fairly useful to the younger generation of ministers.
The days ahead for Najib and his newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers will be a challenging one. Najib has set the tone on the conduct of his minister/deputy ministers, and how he wants the government to be managed. The Najib's administration has another 3 more years before the next general elections. And the sooner they get down to prove their worth, the better chances they have in turning the tables on the opposition, who are poised the take on the BN challenge.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 7.30 pm on April 9, 2009