PM: Cabinet shake-up may happen if parties insist

Govt will consider sensitivities and suggestions from all before making final decision on ICERD

By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By BERNAMA

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the federal Cabinet could be reshuffled if the ruling coalition’s component parties insist on one.

Speaking to Malaysian reporters in Singapore yesterday, the prime minister (PM) said he might consider to shake up his ministerial Cabinet if the component parties request for it, but he personally doesn’t intend to change the current ministers.

“I’m not going to (reshuffle), but if they (the component parties) want and they might insist, so I will have to consider. On my part, I don’t think there is a need.

“I don’t want to change just like that because it will affect confidence,” he said at the end of his four-day working visit to the island republic.

Pakatan Harapan consists of the Dr Mahathir-led Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, PKR led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara.

Dr Mahathir also called on Malaysians to give the new ministers the opportunity to construct an effective federal government.

“As far as I am concerned, we are only a six-month-old Cabinet. It’s difficult to assess the performance of the Cabinet within such a timeframe. They are new, give them a chance.

“They are not familiar being the government, because they have always been the Opposition. Some of the things that they do reflect that they are still in the Opposition (mindset). Give them some time,” Dr Mahathir said yesterday, while refusing to commit to an adjustment timeline.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said the federal government is open to hold discussions and hear public opinions on the ratification of the United Nations’ (UN) International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

He said the proposed ratification will not be pushed onto Malaysians, but the government will consider sensitivities and suggestions from all parties before making any final decision.

“During my speech at the UN, I admitted that we will ratify all international conventions, but I also explained that for Malaysia, it’s not easy because we are a multi-religious and multi-cultural society.

“I know that it will not be easily accepted by the people, as a whole. I want to hear their opinions too,” he said.