Ong Kian Ming wrote A calculated risk to exclude Khairy in Malaysiakini, obviously referring to the new Malaysian cabinet.
Ong reckons Khairy would have been useful to Najib in winning and attracting younger Malaysians to the fold of the BN, and no doubt Pakatan Rakyat must be pleased to see Khairy marginalised and insulted to an extent the UMNO Youth boss would lack the incentive to support Najib’s premiership.
Najib’s detractors, apart from accusing him of being Altantuyaa’s murderer minus any evidence save that already cut & pasted in their minds, have been sneering at him for being Dr Mahathir’s puppet ….. coz for some startling reasons known only to himself (we can only speculate, and Malaysians are damn good at this sport), he has ignored the UMNO Youth chief whilst appointing the UMNO Youth No 2 into the new cabinet.
Then, as if to support the detractors’ criticisms, Najib also selected Dr Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz who doesn’t hold any position in UMNO, to be a deputy minister.
But Najib has always been a person who has avoided confrontation with another UMNO leader, to an extent he had been labelled Mr Zig Zag.
We can speculate his strange decisions must be to mollify Dr Mahathir who has been dead set against Khairy being appointed to the cabinet. Perhaps Najib reckoned that at this stage of his premiership he could do well without the former PM harassing him as he witnessed was done to AAB.
It would be interesting to know what Najib would have told Khairy? Man man lai? Wakakakakakakaka.
But what about Pakatan Rakyat’s shadow cabinet? For the past year many have been advising and beseeching Anwar Ibrahim to form one but the World’s Greatest Reformer has studiously ignored them.
Of course kaytee has his opinions as to why the Renaissance Man has neglected such a fundamental pillar of Westminster democracy. In my humble opinion, I believe this was due to (initially 3 but now) 2 possible reasons:
(1) Earlier (immediately post general election last year), I suspect he planned to take his ‘core’ group of PKR MPs back to UMNO. It was doubly wonderful when BN-UMNO was denied its usual 2/3 majority. His leverage (offering his ‘core’ PKR MPs to give BN-UMNO its 2/3) became even more powerful.
UMNO in the person of AAB ignored him, and he now realised that the likelihood is even more remote with Najib in charge.
(2) He was far too obsessed with seizing power to become the PM – see my post The torment and impatience of Anwar Ibrahim where I wrote:
Not satisfied with the Pakatan achieving a tsunamic victory (alas, there was nothing for him personally, when UMNO continued to snub him), he sought to destabilize a democratically elected government.
In the 6-months long process of snapping at AAB's heels and attempting to crush Najib's wayward balls, he has pushed himself and Pakatan into a blind alley, where he now cannot extricate himself if he doesn’t become PM by 16 September 2008.
What he should have done was to consolidate the Pakatan’s new power, formed a shadow cabinet to train his colleagues on ministerial functions, and developed the 5 Pakatan held States as models of democracy, freedom and free speech, non-corruptibility, good governance with full transparency and public accountability, and race-less equality and opportunity.
And he would have easily become PM in 2012 …
… but alas no ..
Anwar Ibrahim has always been about Anwar Ibrahim, Anwar Ibrahim and Anwar Ibrahim, and f* the shadow cabinet!
(3) Anwar has been studiously avoiding the problems faced by every UMNO PM when forming a cabinet, namely, how to bloody satisfy every component party and more importantly, the UMNO factions.
This has been the reason why the size of the Malaysian cabinet is only exceed by that for the People’s Republic of China - wakakaka I didn't count but take my casual comparison as one to make a point.
I think Najib did try to reduce the size but must have given up, though we can see his strategic considerations in allocating generously to Sabah, Sarawak and the Chinese based/dominated component parties (otherwise why bother with Senators Koh TK and Chew Mei Fun, the former whose ministerial position serves no useful purpose).
Anwar knows all these as he once was up there in the top echelon of UMNO, helping Dr Mahathir make such decisions. Mind you, these last couple of days he must have wish he was in Najib’s shoes. Oh, how he would have love to dish out his Imperial edict, as to who should be Minister of this or that. ;-) Well, let’s stop dreaming and get back to topic.
Just how is he going to deal with the DAP, PAS and his own PKR, both the ‘core’ group and those sincere but outer-fringe elements, when he forms a shadow cabinet?
For example, Pak Haji Hadi Awang will be a very difficult person to satisfy, being both a nationalist as well as an Islamic conservative and one who is convinced that PAS shall be the primus inter pares (first among equals, as UMNO is in BN) in the Pakatan.
At the lower end, we mustn’t forget people like Gobalakrishnan (PKR MP for Padang Serai) who has been such a ‘dedicated’ PKR phantom bus stopper and cheer leader for Anwar at PKR general assembly wakakakakakakaka.
The danger in not satisfying every party or individual in forming a shadow cabinet could be the possible disintegration of the coalition or the defection of some individuals.
With the door to UMNO virtually sealed off to him, Anwar has only the Pakatan Rakyat as a platform left (was a 'standby' earlier) for him to realize his obsession.
... so, man man lai lah with the shadow cabinet ;-)