Loke explains DAP’s low number of Cabinet ministers, says gave Anwar unconditional backing to form govt

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke today said DAP had given its support to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to become prime minister without setting any conditions for the number of Cabinet positions, and that the party was even willing to sacrifice itself if it were to pose a “stumbling block” to the formation of an Anwar-led government.

Asked if DAP was satisfied with being given just four ministerial roles despite winning 40 parliamentary seats in the recent general election, Loke stressed that DAP had given its unconditional support to Anwar.

“So I wish to put on record, as I said just now, on November 22, before Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim went to Istana Negara, I told Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, as long as you can be prime minister, DAP is willing to sacrifice anything, that is my commitment to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“So I placed my trust in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he did not agree for us to not enter Cabinet. He insisted DAP must be part of the government. I left it to him, the issue of number, the issue of composition. To me, that is the prime minister’s discretion, and as far as DAP is concerned, we place the country’s interests over the party’s interests,” he told reporters at the DAP national headquarters here during a press conference also attended by the three other DAP ministers.

Loke said DAP’s decision to give unconditional support to Anwar to be the prime minister and to form a government was a unanimous decision made by DAP MPs and DAP central executive committee (CEC) members.

The Cabinet line-up under the unity government features 28 ministers, including four from DAP, namely Loke as transport minister, deputy secretary-general Sivakumar Varatharaju Naidu as human resources minister, vice-chairman Nga Kor Ming as local government development minister, and assistant national publicity secretary Hannah Yeoh as youth and sports minister.

While DAP, which won 40 seats was assigned four ministerial roles, other parties such as PKR which won 31 seats and holds eight ministerial portfolios, and Barisan Nasional which won 30 seats and holds six ministerial portfolios.