Will Malaysia drop to be one of the most corrupt states in Asia by the end of the decade losing out to China, India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines in TI CPI 2030 after being overtaken by Taiwan and South Korea in the last two decades?

The Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob cannot decide whether Zuraida Kamaruddin should go as Minister for Plantation Industries and Commodities although he has no problem with wearing a RM5,500-shirt when meeting the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Tokyo.

Zuraida announced her resignation from Bersatu for Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) from Turkey two days ago, and Bersatu President Muhyddin Yassin immediately said that he will submit the name of a candidate for the plantation industries and commodities minister position to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Home Minister and Bersatu Secretary-General Hamzah Zainudin said the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry portfolio will be filled by another Bersatu leader as the number of Cabinet posts held by Bersatu had been agreed between Muhyiddin and Ismail Sabri.

But it would appear that all was not set in stone from Ismail’s comments in Tokyo, where he said that Zuraida would remain as Cabinet Minister unless he decides otherwise upon his return from Japan, especially as UMNO leaders are staking a claim for the post of Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister asserting that it is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to appoint the minister and not for any party to dictate terms.

So will Zuraida stay as Cabinet Minister or will she be replaced from someone from Bersatu or UMNO? The Google search page has already indicated that Zuraida is in Cabinet representing PBM.

Zurada’s Cabinet post will the subject of a new political wheeling and dealing to ensure that Ismail Sabri will not be the Prime Minister with the shortest span in office while the ordinary Malaysians suffer from new economic stress.

Equally of concern to Malaysians is how many of the Cabinet Ministers are in the country instead of gallivanting around the world in the opening up of more than two years of Covid-19 pandemic in the world.

Is the Chief Secretary prepared to make public a list of Cabinet Ministers who went abroad in May, for how long and why they were overseas?

Or is this too sensitive an information to be made known to Malaysians?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri