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Cabinet reshuffle – a great disappointment


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

, Tuesday): “A great disappointment” – this must sum up the consensus reaction of Malaysians to the long-delayed Cabinet reshuffle announced by the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on live telecast at 2.45 p.m today.

Only two  Ministers, Shafie Salleh and Leo Michael Toyad have been  dropped, as of  the other two Cabinet personality changes, Kadir Sheikh Fadzir resigned  while  Adenan Satem stepped down from national politics to prepare to become the next Sarawak Chief Minister.

There is no downsizing to reduce the bloated  Cabinet created after the March 2004 general election to a decent number proportionate to Malaysia’s population and needs.

There is no infusion  of new blood to replace the deadwood in the Cabinet.

The second Abdullah Cabinet after his landslide 2004 general election victory neither inspires nor motivates Malaysians to excellence, glory and distinction to become towering personalities who can stand tall in the era of globalization to compete and take on the best in the rest of the world.

If the previous Cabinet failed so miserably in the past two years  to provide Abdullah the necessary support and thrust to implement his reform pledge and programme, how can Abdullah’s second post-election Cabinet make any difference to transform itself to become an Integrity and Reform Cabinet – as they comprise basically the same personalities and philsophies.

As for individual Cabinet appointments, it is hoped that Mustapha Mohamad’s appointment as Higher Education Minister will end the blight in tertiary education in Malaysia in the past two years although Zainuddin Maidin’s appointment as Information Minister is a storm signal that hard times await the mass media, press freedom and freedom of information in Malaysia.  In fact,  Zainuddin’s shock promotion  raises the question whether the curtains for Abdullah’s reform pledge and reform are beginning to come down even before the promised reforms have taken off the ground.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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