THE entire nation is now focused on the composition of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government and the individuals who will serve in it following his swearing-in last Thursday.
Anwar in his first press conference afterwards, hinted that he would have two deputies.
It will be represented by UMNO and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) – the first two major parties to back the current government.
During the press conference, he emphasised that the government he leads is no longer known as the Pakatan Harapan government, but Perpaduan Nasional government.
His political beliefs have to be realigned to fit the new brand, greater openness.
The manifesto of all parties will be formulated and to absorb the finest and most relevant.
For the first six hours, he pledged and committed to defend the Federal Constitution.
This includes the matter of the Malay language, Islam as the official religion of the country and the position of the Malay Kings, the rights of the Malays without marginalising the rights of the Chinese, Indians, tribes of Sabah and Sarawak and the Orang Asli.
Anwar, 75, who is very experienced in national politics, said that the unity government will guarantee and safeguard the rights of all Malaysians, especially the marginalised, vulnerable and destitute, regardless of race and religion.
Even so, his main focus at the moment is strengthening the economy and fighting corruption seriously and thoroughly by mobilising the agenda of governance reform.
In order to strengthen confidence and ensure stability, Anwar said, a vote of confidence motion will be the first agenda during the Dewan Rakyat Session, which is scheduled for December 19.
The fact is, the voting procedure is not necessary, because the party that refuses to form a unity government, and hence be the opposition is now only Perikatan Nasional.
Gimmicks like this are therefore unnecessary because they just serve to highlight what is already clear.
It is, however, a good and healthy thing in a democratic society because the country and Parliament require parties that can provide checks and balances.
Being in a unity government system – the important thing is the ability to create deliberations and joint decisions in all matters.
And, this includes the formation of the cabinet.
It should be balanced, inclusive and representative of all regions, sectors and races. At the same time, non-political groups such as academic figures, financial experts and technocrats also need to be injected as cabinet members to make this government more cohesive and effective.
If before, the Tambun Member of Parliament imagined the size of the cabinet, it was actually too early.
On the other hand, he needs to formulate the direction of the country during his administration, and after that, think about the form of the desired cabinet.
For example, it may be that two or three ministries have been established specifically to manage and deal with the impact of the economic crisis in the next year.
Other new ministries may function to promote the digital economy, empower unity and identity, and so on.
Therefore, reducing the cabinet size is not the ideal solution because we do not want the selected ministers to lose focus and power.
Likewise, the minister’s remuneration will be reduced. It’s not the best recommendation since it’s not fair to those in positions of power. Consider that the remuneration of a minister is lower than that of a political secretary or a Chief Secretary.
After all, since its implementation when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad became the Prime Minister for the second time, it has not left a big impact.
Better actually, Anwar fully uses his experience as the world’s best Finance Minister to plan the increase of income for the country, and this can be done by getting ideas from various parties.
It is also acceptable to reinstate the position of Parliamentary Secretary.
Perhaps a picture of this cabinet will be visible within the next 48 to 84 hours.
The first deputy prime minister (DPM) in the state’s history may soon be announced by GPS.
Member of Parliament for Petra Jaya, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof is seen as the leading candidate because he has the most experience in the cabinet so far, in addition to having served as a Senior Minister in the Cabinet of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob.
While on the UMNO side, many expect former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar cum Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan to get the nod.
As usual, more than 30 million Malaysians are not only eagerly waiting but also impatient to draw conclusions.