Saturday, May 21, 2022

Cabinet reshuffle only speculation, says PM Ismail

He says the focus for now is on the floods and Covid-19 situation.

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Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob today dismissed word of a looming Cabinet reshuffle which MalaysiaNow previously reported could happen as early as this month with attention on ministers and deputies from Bersatu and other Perikatan Nasional (PN) components.

Describing such reports as mere speculation, he said the focus now was on the floods and Covid-19 situation, according to Bernama.

“Yes, people are talking, names are being mentioned, it’s normal,” he was reported as saying after presenting aid to flood victims at a temporary relief centre in Melaka.

“I have said it before, my focus is now on the floods so I don’t want to talk about whether or not there will be a Cabinet reshuffle. I didn’t announce any, so there’s none.”

MalaysiaNow had said that the reshuffle could be a test of Ismail’s ability to hold his coalition government together despite the growing bad blood between Bersatu and the Umno faction led by former prime minister Najib Razak.

An Umno source said that the reshuffle would see no major changes in line-up while a source close to Ismail’s inner circle had spoken of a “balancing act” to maintain unity in the Cabinet.

Ismail was sworn in as prime minister on Aug 21 last year after obtaining the support of 114 out of 220 MPs.

The MPs who stated their support for him comprised those from PN, Umno and Gabungan Parti Sarawak, as well as four independents.

Ismail was among the Umno leaders and Cabinet members who refused to join their party bosses Najib Razak and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in campaigning for the ouster of former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin by revoking their support for him.

His Cabinet, sworn in on Merdeka eve last year, saw many of the ministers appointed under Muhyiddin’s government maintained with some exceptions and exchanges of portfolios.

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