The question of who will replace Zuraida Kamaruddin as plantation industries and commodities minister following her exit from Bersatu will be determined after a meeting with the prime minister, Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
Muhyiddin, the Bersatu president, said a request had already been made for a meeting with Ismail Sabri Yaakob, and that all that was needed was a date.
He said the Ampang MP’s seat in the Cabinet was part of Bersatu’s quota.
“But it’s up to the prime minister who to choose,” he added at a press conference in Putrajaya.
He said everything would be discussed with Ismail including the names of the possible candidates.
When asked if Bersatu would put forth new faces to replace Zuraida, he declined to comment.
“Wait and see whose face it is,” he quipped. “We will make an announcement.”
Zuraida announced her departure from Bersatu on May 26 along with her intention to join PBM instead.
She also said she would discuss her resignation as plantation industries and commodities minister with Ismail as soon as possible.
Zuraida had been part of three Cabinets since 2018, under the administrations of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyiddin and Ismail.
She shifted between two portfolios during this time: housing and local government, and plantation industries and commodities.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin dismissed talk that two Bersatu Supreme Council members – Mohamed Azmin Ali and Mohd Rashid Hasnon – would follow Zuraida in leaving the party.
He said he had a good relationship with both of them, and that they would often discuss their plans for Bersatu’s future.
He said the question of leaving Bersatu and its struggle had never arisen.
“I just celebrated Raya with Rashid, and we didn’t discuss anything,” he said. “We only talked about ketupat.”
Adding that the rumours were baseless, he said: “Why target Bersatu? We are just a small party.”