2 Umno MPs to get cabinet posts, say sources

Noor Azam Shairi

Following the resignations of Shamsul Anuar Nasarah and Noraini Ahmad from their ministerial posts last week, Umno still has seven ministers in the Perikatan Nasional government. Muhyiddin Yassin will appoint two more Umno MPs to his cabinet soon, according to sources. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 13, 2021.

TWO Umno members of Parliament will be appointed to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s cabinet while two others will be given new portfolios in a minor reshuffle following the resignations of two ministers last week, sources said.

The energy and natural resources and higher education portfolios were left vacant when Shamsul Anuar Nasarah and Noraini Ahmad resigned from their posts on August 3 and 6 respectively.

They quit following Umno’s decision to withdraw support for Muhyiddin and the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

“The reshuffle will be announced soon,” said the source, who is aware of the new cabinet appointments.

The Malaysian Insight understands that an Umno MP will fill one of the vacant portfolios while a minister will be moved to another ministry.

The names of those involved have been identified, the source said, without giving further details on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent.

This is Muhyiddin’s first cabinet reshuffle since he became prime minister in March last year following the political movement that ousted the Pakatan Harapan government from Putrajaya.

Umno has confirmed that 15 of its MPs no longer support Muhyiddin and have presented their declaration letters to the king.

Umno now has seven MPs in Muhyiddin’s cabinet, after Shamsul and Noraini resigned.

Last month, Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob was appointed deputy prime minister while retaining the defence portfolio.

Former party vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein is now senior minister in charge of security and foreign affairs minister.

Other Umno MPs in the cabinet are Dr Adham Baba (health), Khairy Jamaluddin (science, technology and innovation), Reezal Merican Naina Merican (youth and sports), Halimah Mohamed Sadique (national unity) and Annuar Musa (federal territories).

Umno also has seven deputy ministers, including a senator.

Last week, Ismail announced that 31 Umno and Barisan Nasional MPs remained in support of Muhyiddin’s government and wanted its legitimacy to be determined during the September parliamentary session.

He said it would be irresponsible, if they leave the PN government now, which would cause its collapse when the country is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

At least three Umno MPs later denied that they were with Muhyiddin’s group.

Eight other Umno MPs who do not hold ministerial or deputy ministerial posts have openly supported Muhyiddin in recent weeks.

Among them are party vice-president Mahdzir Khalid who is also Padang Terap MP and chairman of Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

He was the education minister and deputy minister of energy, green technology and water in former prime minister Najib Razak’s administration.

Last week, Mahdzir denied media reports claiming that he had been informed that he would replace Shamsul, based on his experience in the energy ministry.

Several other Umno MPs who are not ministers or deputy ministers but have held positions in the previous administration include Shahidan Kassim (Arau), Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (Padang Rengas), Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (Pasir Salak), Idris Jusoh (Besut), Salim Sharif (Jempol), who was a senator (2014-2018), and Jalaluddin Alias (Jelebu), who used to be a Negri Sembilan state exco member, holding the portfolio of local government, housing and urban welfare.

Umno has 38 representatives in the Dewan Rakyat while Barisan Nasional component parties MCA has two representatives and MIC and PBRS have one each. – August 13, 2021.

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