PETALING JAYA (Sin Chew Daily) : According to a source, prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will be in a dilemma when drawing up his cabinet line-up, and the final list will determine whether he will pass the confidence vote in parliament.
Currently, Ismail Sabri has the support of 114 Members of Parliament, including four who left Pakatan Harapan to become pro-Perikatan Nasional independents.
If these four turn against Ismail Sabri during the confidence vote, he will he left with only 111 seats.
From what we understand, one of the reasons for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia to surrender the prime minister post to Umno is to secure the deputy prime minister post.
“But even a DPM post is now contended by two in Bersatu, both being controversial to Umno.”
In addition, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Umno are also eyeing the DPM post.
The source said if Bersatu’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin does not get the DPM post, he is more inclined to be retained as home minister. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Umno will offer such an important position to Bersatu.
“The probability of having two DPMs is not high at this juncture.”
The source said it is more likely to have two finance ministers instead, with the prime minister doubling up as finance minister and Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz as finance minister II.
According to the source, the new cabinet will be a slimmer one, but to cut down the number of ministers from 32 to 26-28 alone is a big headache for the new prime minister.
It is unsure whether Ismail Sabri will keep the senior minister positions.
As this is the first time an Umno prime minister is not the party’s president, it is yet to know whether Ismail Sabri will have to consult the party first before announcing the cabinet line-up, although it is the prime minister’s prerogative to appoint his ministers.
SIN CHEW DAILY