KUALA LUMPUR: Several Pakatan Harapan lawmakers have confirmed they will be part of the new government after receiving phone calls from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
While others named in a viral list featuring 28 Cabinet ministers (including the 13 already announced) and 24 deputy ministers remained tight-lipped over their supposed appointments, Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, Hang Tuah Jaya MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin and Kuala Langat MP Dr Xavier Jayakumar confirmed they got the call.
Saifuddin confirmed he was offered the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism portfolio.
“I thanked him and asked for his guidance in heading such a big ministry,” he said yesterday.
Fuziah said she received a call from Dr Mahathir offering her to be the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religion.
“I had thought I was not suited for the post but decided to accept it after consulting my party president,” the PKR lawmaker said when met after a briefing for MPs at Parliament yesterday.
The appointment, she said, was an opportunity for her to empower women in Islam, including within institutions like the Syariah Court.
Asked on the veracity of the “leaked” list on social media, Fuziah said it likely contained the names submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V for approval last week.
PKR’s Shamsul Iskandar, too, got a call.
“Dr Mahathir called me on the fourth day of Hari Raya and offered me the post of Deputy Primary Industries Minister,” he said.
Although yet to be made official, he said Dr Mahathir had given him some tips on how to run the ministry, particularly in following up discussions with Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma, who met the Prime Minister here on June 18.
Dr Jayakumar, a PKR vice-president, also confirmed that he had received a call from Dr Mahathir last week. He is slated to be the Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister, based on the list.
Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar, when pressed on the matter, merely smiled and said he was in regular contact with the Prime Minister.
The Parti Amanah Negara lawmaker is said to be the next Deputy Human Resources Minister.
Selangau MP and Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian was also coy about his supposed appointment as Public Works Minister, but said it would be an apt post as it would mean better infrastructure development in Sabah and Sarawak.
Penampang MP and Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president Darell Leiking, who was named International Trade and Industry Minister (Miti), said if the list was true, “it is something good for Sabah and the Federation, and the first time a Sabahan is appointed Miti Minister”.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh of DAP, when contacted, said that with or without a position, she would do her best to help rebuild Malaysia.
She is tipped to be the Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the list that was leaked could be authentic but insisted nothing was confirmed until the official announcement.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, when asked, simply said to wait for the swearing-in ceremony.
Dr Mahathir confirmed on Monday that the full Cabinet line-up has been finalised but any announcement will be forthcoming during the swearing-in.
So far, 13 MPs have been appointed to his Cabinet.
The Prime Minister has said he aims to have no more than 30 members in the Cabinet. The previous administration had 35.
Source: The Star