That was quite a surprise – no deputy prime minister but four senior ministers in lieu.
Some netizens say Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is reserving the post for Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi if and when the Umno president can shake himself free of his corruption charges.
Others say the prime minister is keeping it aside for Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir if he can get Tun Mahathir to his side.
And there are others who think the post is kept vacant for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
I say maybe not Zahid because I think his corruption cases will drag on and on, perhaps even well beyond the term of this government.
But Mukhriz’s chances look good because making him DPM will placate Tun M (it is important to please the old man for Bersatu to be strong and united because right now the party is badly split) and provide for his graceful exit from active politics – hopefully even peaceful retirement as well.
And there is no discounting Anwar because here is one man who badly wants to be PM and who thinks he should be PM. If being DPM gives him that chance, he’ll grab it.
In fact, he actually wanted to be DPM and asked Tun to be made one in PH’s dying moments, but Tun refused.
After all that had transpired I still believe Tun never wanted Anwar to succeed him but strangely Anwar did not seem to see it coming – with his backside exposed.
In any case, Anwar is one patient man, and I believe he is as patient as ever. So, what’s waiting for another 36 months when he had waited 30 over years since the birth of his reformasi in 1998!
Tun was PM for the second time when he was 92, and three years from now, Anwar will just hit 75. For PM candidate, that’s mighty young.
Of course, that is if Muhyiddin does step down at the end of his current term and not keep kicking the can and running after it – like what Tun did, and leaving poor Anwar gasping and blowing hot and cold behind him.
Now, let’s look at what’s going on outside there.
There are people out there who think come May 18 Muhyiddin’s government will fall. I don’t think so.
I don’t think so because even right now, PH lawmakers are shifting allegiance on the ground. State governments of Johor, Melaka and Perak have all fallen, even as Mahathir and Anwar are washing dirty linen in public.
And while all this is going on, Malaysians look to be rejoicing in the Cabinet that Muhyiddin had just unveiled. Wonder what’s the money market reaction to it though?
But the feel good is in the air, I find it hard to believe Malaysians will want to see the country go down further into gloom with more political upheavals and uncertainties.
I can see that Malaysians are happy that Muhyiddin has kept to his words of leaving out those with corruption cases to answer and bringing in technocrats into his Cabinet.
In this instance, Muhyiddin shows that he is better than Tun who made Lim Guan Eng finance minister when the DAP secretary general was going in and out of court on charges of corruption.
On Monday, Malaysians saw a Muhyiddin who was not anybody close to what Tun was. Muhyiddin didn’t make himself finance minister. He didn’t make himself education minister either.
He was just prime minister, and that made him stand out.
And of course, he also kept to his word of accommodating Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), and that makes so many Sarawakians happy.
Yes, perhaps GPS and Sarawakians are closer to realising their struggle to seek the return of their rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Perhaps, too, we will get better oil and tax money, though it may not necessarily be 20 percent and 50 percent as promised by the failed PH government.
Sarawakians look to the future with anticipation. They want to see their federal ministers and deputy ministers perform after 22 months of being dianaktirikan (‘step-soned’).
Besides the nine GPS MPs, two other Sarawakians are in Muhyiddin’s government – Bersatu’s Willie Mongin and Ali Biju, both as deputy ministers.
It’s clear for all to see that Willie and Ali are made deputy ministers because of their support for Muhyiddin, although I see Ali made out his case exceptionally eye-catching with some acrobatic tearful act at the right time and place!
In any case, Sarawakians would like to see all 11 serve the state and the nation as a team.
To Willie and Ali, yes by all means be supportive of Muhyiddin’s leadership.
That’s exactly what GPS’ stand is, but Sarawak’s best interest must come first.
It’s time to make Sarawak an economically and politically strong state. The Sarawak-Malaya socio-economic gap must be addressed.
An economically and politically strong Sarawak will make for a strong and united Federation of Malaysia.
As it looks now, this government gives us that chance to be what we have always wanted to be – Malaysians with our own unique identity.