Have cabinet with only 22 ministries, says ex-minister

Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar says the new prime minister can keep his cabinet lean and effective by combining some ministries. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 26, 2022.

NEW Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim can keep his cabinet lean and effective by combining some ministries and keeping the size of the cabinet to a maximum of 22 ministries, former minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said.

The former de facto law minister under the Ismail Sabri Yaakob administration said it was possible to have just 22 ministries, a major reduction from the 31 portfolios under the previous government.

He told Star Online that he had made some suggestions on downsizing the cabinet with the Civil Service Department (JPA) and suggested that Ismail had agreed to a smaller cabinet if Barisan Nasional had won the November 19 general election.

Among Wan Junaidi’s suggestions was the merger of the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry with the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.

Other mergers include the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry and the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry.

He was also reported as saying that the Education Ministry could incorporate the Higher Education Ministry.

Likewise, he said, trade-related ministries like International Trade and Industry Ministry and the Entrepreneur Development Ministry could be combined.

“I’ve also requested that JPA look into the possible mergers of several ministries to a maximum of 22, if not 20 only,” he was quoted as saying.

He said Ismail agreed in principle to his proposal for a smaller cabinet.

“Because he (Ismail) inherited what was formed during Muhyiddin Yassin’s time as premier, it would be political suicide for him to downsize the cabinet then,” he was quoted as saying.

“He (Ismail) actually agreed to my suggestion of 20 and, at most, 22 ministries but said it could only be done after the elections.”

Under Muhyiddin’s administration, there were 32 ministers and 38 deputies.

Ismail, meanwhile, had a cabinet of 31 ministers with 38 deputies.

They were both forced to have a supersized cabinet to ensure the support for them remained.

Anwar, who took office on Thursday, said yesterday that his cabinet would feature a leaner line-up.

He also said the ministers might have their salaries reduced.

He said the proposal to slash the salaries of ministers and reduce the size of the cabinet is currently being discussed and his line-up of ministers should be unveiled soon.

“The size of the cabinet will surely be smaller and I’m asking new ministers to agree with my proposal to lower their salaries,” he said.

“This is still in the process of discussion and preparation.”

Anwar’s unity government is in place with the support of Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and some smaller parties. – November 26, 2022.

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  • You were part of the largest cabinets in Malaysian history. Filled with uneducated and incompetent cronies and crooks. Don't talk sh*t now.

    Posted 2 months ago by Jeevaraj Nadarajah · Reply

  • A dozen cukup

    Posted 2 months ago by Joe nuts · Reply