PETALING JAYA: Political affiliation should make way for expertise in the choice of candidates for positions in the Cabinet, according to a political analyst.
Such experts could include academicians or those who specialise in their respective fields.
This is all the more pertinent considering that the performance of a government is directly related to the effectiveness of its ministers or deputy ministers, said Prof Dr Jeniri Amir (pix) of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
“If the minister or deputy minister does not perform well, making a lot of blunders, shows no wisdom, doesn’t make decisions or doesn’t formulate policies that resonate with the people, it is going to affect the overall image of the government,” he told theSun yesterday.
He said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government needed to put the right people with the right experience and with the wisdom in the right place.
“Ministers have to be experts in their respective fields, and they need not necessarily be politicians. They need to put things on the right track. Otherwise, they’re going to pull down the government,” he added.
Jeniri pointed out that the honeymoon period was over for PH.
“They cannot keep asking for more time. It’s more than enough already. People want to see changes made, as promised.”
He was responding to news that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be proposing a Cabinet reshuffle to address public discontent after losing Tanjung Piai in a recent by-election.
Jeniri also said it was time for PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim – who is slated to be the next prime minister – to be given a say in determining who should be in the Cabinet should the reshuffle happen.
Another political analyst, Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain, said he agreed that the people were not satisfied with the performance of current PH Cabinet ministers.
“They are unhappy about the rising cost of living and prices of goods are not going down,” he said.
“In fact, it is not just the Opposition that is unhappy with the ministers’ performance. Some people within PH are also unhappy with certain ministers.“
Ahmad Atory also said Mahathir not only has to consult Anwar but other PH leaders as well before moving forward to reshuffle the Cabinet, as the structure in the coalition is different from that of Barisan Nasional (BN).
“In BN, Mahathir did not need to refer to anyone as it was dominated by Umno,” he added.