Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Umno top guns uneasy over Ismail’s Cabinet line-up

Umno Supreme Council members want to meet fast to thrash out Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s pick for the Cabinet. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: There are rumblings in Umno over recent cancellations of its Supreme Council meetings which were said to revolve around Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Cabinet line-up.

A source close to the matter told FMT the Supreme Council meeting scheduled for tonight has also been cancelled.

This comes days after a meeting scheduled for last Saturday was called off “at the very last minute”, purportedly on Ismail’s request.

“Many Umno Supreme Council members complained as they were already in Kuala Lumpur after travelling from the other states,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told FMT.

It is understood that the meeting has now been rescheduled to Thursday. It is being speculated that he will announce his line-up a day earlier on Wednesday.

The top leadership, the source said, was afraid that Ismail would end up as a “puppet” and be bound to the conditions mentioned by his predecessor, Muhyiddin Yassin.

“There are fears that Azmin will be made the deputy prime minister (DPM),” the source said, referring to the former senior minister Azmin Ali.

Several Supreme Council members are against Ismail appointing a deputy, the source said, and believe the post should be left vacant, similar to what Muhyiddin did in the past.

Muhyiddin had only named Ismail as the DPM on July 7, about 16 months after coming to power.

“If Azmin is made the DPM, it won’t bode well for the new government’s image and Umno will once again be tied to a failed administration,” the source said.

It said the council had already decided that the make-up of the new government should not come off as Perikatan Nasional 2.0.

“Apparently, many division leaders do not want controversial figures such as Annuar Musa, Hishammuddin Hussein, Shahidan Kassim, Nazri Aziz, Mahdzir Khalid, Ismail Mohamed Said and Tajuddin Abdul Rahman to be part of the new line-up,” the source said, adding that they wanted “fresh faces”.

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