KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — DAP member Datuk Zaid Ibrahim today offered his proposal of Cabinet candidates for Pakatan Harapan to consider using if it won the next general elections.
In it, he named Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the Opposition pact’s prime minister-designate but left the deputy prime minister post blank to be filled by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim following the jailed de facto PKR leader’s release from prison.
“For Prime Minister, I believe Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the right candidate. I have already given all my reasons for supporting his appointment in the last six months (much to the dismay of many), so I shall say no more on this matter,” Zaid wrote on his blog.
“For the post of Deputy Prime Minister, I suggest leaving it vacant. There is no legal requirement to have a DPM, although we have practised having one for many years now. This should send a strong signal to Anwar that the job is his, but that due process must first be followed,” he added.
Zaid announced his Cabinet line-up a day after Anwar withdrew his candidacy for the PM post.
The former de facto law minister during the Abdullah administration noted that the Pakatan Harapan pact leaders have been shuffling their feet over the issue with elections due to be called in just under a year.
In his post, Zaid said that Anwar’s decision to withdraw his own candidacy should be applauded and should be seen as a sign of unity in the Opposition coalition.
“While we wait for Opposition leaders to agree on who should be the next Prime Minister, why not ponder my list of possible Cabinet members in the new government. If the leaders take time to reflect on and discuss these issues early, it will show the people we are ready to form a government,” he said.
The decision on the PM-designate has been holding up Pakatan Harapan’s registration as a formal coalition to go toe-to-toe against the ruling Barisan Nasional.
Four parties form the coalition: DAP, PKR, Parti Amanah Negara and PPBM.
In his list, Zaid also suggested that PKR deputy president and Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali be named Finance Minister, with PPBM president and former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin be made Minister of Oil and Energy, and DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang be made Minister of Education.
He also suggested that the Attorney General post be held by an elected representative, with the post to be held by PKR’s R. Sivarasa.
“Other Cabinet posts can be filled up later but these critical ones must be announced now. The Prime Minister-designate has to make sure his Ministers will do the necessary work properly and honestly, and sack them if they don’t. He must make sure checks and balances are implemented and institutionalised, because in the future only institutions can save us, not personalities,” he said.
“I hope these suggestions will start a conversation that can be helpful to the Opposition coalition,” he added.