Fahmi Fadzil: Ministers in PM Anwar's Cabinet nominated by respective parties to avoid conflict

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) communications director Fahmi Fadzil today said that all ministers in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Cabinet were nominated by their respective political parties to avoid internal conflict that could lead to a similar PH downfall that took place in 2020.

In order to avoid a repeat of the incident, Fahmi said it was crucial for ministers to be appointed based on the respective parties’ choice and avoid the mistake of having a prime minister appoint whoever they please at their own will as done by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“PH needs to learn from experience that one of its downfalls after 22 months in power was the appointment of ministers that went against the party’s wish.

“For example in 2018, Keadilan never nominated Azmin (as minister candidate) since he was Selangor mentri besar but suddenly his name came up, and we did not nominate several others either, but Azmin made it possible for them to be appointed.

“In the end almost all of them were traitorous. That is the condition when a prime minister disrespects the concept of musyawarah (consensus decision-making) at the time that kicked off a series of instability,” he was quoted as saying by PKR’s mouthpiece, Suara Keadilan.

Thus, Fahmi said the current PH leadership learned from its lesson, and the new government was formed based on the decision of the respective political parties’ head from Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and others.

“The prime minister would have to contact each party and it is up to the party to choose their candidate. We do not interfere in the internal affairs of any parties. That was a mistake made by previous prime ministers,” he said referring to Dr Mahathir, Tan Sri Muyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

On whether the move to appoint ministers was well-received, Fahmi said that would depend on the respective ministers’ performance and not which party they are from.

Even though there was some controversy with the appointments, Fahmi said the rakyat needed to understand the rules that must be followed in a unity government.

“This is a unity government, not a PH government. Different from a PH government where we have a majority and are given the liberty to decide.

“The unity government was formed on the advice of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong since not a single party obtained a simple majority to form the government after the general elections.

“Faced with a hung parliament, we have to compromise,” he said.

He said the present Cabinet line-up is to ensure political stability by fulfilling each party’s wish as the unity government allows every party to submit their candidate and the role of the prime minister is to place them in the respective ministries he thinks fit.

He however admitted that some have shown their displeasure at the appointments but stressed it was important to be vigilant from quarters seeking to take advantage of cracks within the national unity government to pull it down.

“I hope our supporters understand the ongoing circumstances and do not be too idealistic on the Cabinet appointments.

“Since this is not a PH government, there are conditions and political situations that we need to follow. It is not an ideal situation since we did not obtain 112 seats as we did in 2018,” he said.

A total of 28 ministers were announced, four fewer than Anwar’s predecessors Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, but more than the 25 he had targeted.

Anwar also named Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as his deputy, who was pivotal in giving Anwar the necessary parliamentary majority to form the latter’s coalition government after the 15th general election concluded in a hung parliament.

Ahmad Zahid’s controversial appointment as deputy prime minister will unnerve some as he is still standing trial for a corruption case where he is accused of 47 criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering charges involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi, the charity organisation he founded.