Thank you, Anwar

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Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement this past weekend that he is pulling himself out of consideration for the post of Prime Minister deserves accolades all round. Malaysians who want to see change whilst UMNO is imploding at every corner must be happy at this sign of unity amongst the leaders in the Opposition. These leaders should emulate Anwar, who has made a great sacrifice, and move on to agreeing on key matters necessary to form a new government.

We still don’t know if seats in the upcoming polls have been allocated in a way that satisfies everyone, but I would like to think one way to manage any differences in opinion is for the Prime Minister-designate to start discussing who can be a part of the next Cabinet. If all parties are happy with the proposed Cabinet line-up, it would soothe whatever differences they might have on the number of seats their parties need to contest.

While we wait for Opposition leaders to agree on who should be the next Prime Minister, why not ponder my list of possible Cabinet members in the new government. If the leaders take time to reflect on and discuss these issues early, it will show the people we are ready to form a government. It will also prevent new disputes from erupting amongst all parties, which will only undermine this fragile coalition.

For Prime Minister, I believe Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the right candidate. I have already given all my reasons for supporting his appointment in the last six months (much to the dismay of many), so I shall say no more on this matter.

For the post of Deputy Prime Minister, I suggest leaving it vacant. There is no legal requirement to have a DPM, although we have practised having one for many years now. This should send a strong signal to Anwar that the job is his, but that due process must first be followed.

For Minister of Oil and Energy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would be a good choice. PETRONAS must be placed under this Ministry and any future Prime Minister with a gargantuan appetite for money should not be allowed to control our national oil company. (Under the present law, only the PM controls PETRONAS.) The Petroleum Development Act 1974 must be amended to reflect this. Issues such as how much dividends PETRONAS pays out and who should get its big contracts must be decided by PETRONAS alone. Muhyiddin is a senior Minister, and a capable and experienced administrator. It is therefore fitting that this huge responsibility be given to him.

I suggest Azmin Ali from PKR as Minister of Finance. He knows what to do to save the country from further ruin. There must be only one Finance Minister — and never again should the country have an all-powerful Prime Minister who also takes on the Finance portfolio to do what Datuk Seri Najib Razak has done. There must be capable civil servants in the Finance Ministry and the Treasury to reign in political leaders who betray the trust of the people. The Minister of Finance must, of course, have good financial experts and economists of integrity to help him.

The Ministry of Education should go to Lim Kit Siang. It’s about time we look at education seriously, and that means being blind to racial considerations. We need to educate our people properly. We have failed to do that because education has been politicised to the extreme. We no longer have educationists and real academics but political apparatchiks in our schools and universities. Let’s go back to the old days when our best teachers and lecturers came from all backgrounds and races. Let’s make Malaysia a truly great country by having a great education system.

The Home Affairs Ministry is crucial if we want law and order to rule. Whoever helms this post must be prepared to combat corruption in the Police force and make it accountable. The Parliamentary Oversight Committee proposed in 2004 must be implemented in full. This person must be humble and willing to remove all ouster clauses in the present laws so that the courts can restrain and control excess use of the Home Minister’s discretionary powers. This important job can go to someone from Bersatu.

A new post, that of Attorney-General and the Minister of Law, should be created. The new Attorney-General must be a member of the Dewan Rakyat and he must helm a proper Ministry of Law. He must not be the Prime Minister’s boy, for he must serve the public and no one else. He must be willing, by a new law, to create an independent Office of Public Prosecutions and appoint a director involved in the day-to-day decision-making process in any case. The Director of Public Prosecution is the person the Attorney-General and the Government must be able to trust wholly to deal with ALL cases in a manner that is free from political interference. We need a special law to be passed for this to happen. I suggest R. Sivarasa from PKR as the Attorney-General.

Tony Pua is a young talent who should also contribute to the nation’s development. I propose he be made Minister of Trade. There is no need to separate domestic and international trade, so just one Ministry will do. The candidate must promise to cut the deficit — slowly, but cut it he must. He must disband all forms of monopoly in the country, and ensure that small and medium-size companies be given priority in national policies. It’s about time we truly help small business traders and entrepreneurs, regardless of their political affiliation.

The institutions of MARA, FELCRA, RISDA, FELDA and Tabung Haji form the cornerstones of a prosperous and peaceful Malaysia. These agencies must be grouped together and report to a new Ministry, and not the Prime Minister. If we want to curb cronyism — the kind where the Prime Minister’s Office controls everything — then we need to change the relevant legislation so that we can take these agencies from the PM. I propose forming a new Ministry so there is more control and accountability for these large agencies. We must deal with the current problems of pilferage and inefficiency. I suggest another young talent for this purpose: Rafizi Ramli from PKR.

Religion is an important matter in this country; religious conflicts are plentiful and potentially explosive because politicians have usurped religion for their own ends. I propose a new Minister of Religious Affairs be appointed. His portfolio would cover all religions practised in the country, and he would deal with any conflict among the civil and shariah courts and state and federal religious authorities such as JAKIM. They must, therefore, report to this Minister and not the Prime Minister. I propose Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa of Amanah for this job. He is a principled and fair person, and also well-schooled in Islamic matters.

The Defence portfolio must be given to someone who does not need or want to make quick money. He must be willing to let his Generals and Admirals decide what equipment to buy and what their respective arms of the national security forces need. The Defence Minister must be someone who is concerned about the security of the country, but who also does not care for taking a cut from contracts or any dealings with foreign powers. Mohamad Sabu from Amanah will do this job well.

The Ministry of Transport should go to Liew Chin Tong of DAP. He is knowledgeable and well-appraised of new means to solve the longstanding public transport woes in the country. He must also address public transport needs in smaller towns as well.

A new Coordinating Minister for Sabah/Sarawak Affairs must be established. I am not familiar with politicians from East Malaysia, but surely there is one among them who can pull together all the relevant issues that we need to discuss intelligently at the Federal level.

The Ministries of Telecommunications, Science and Technology can be grouped as one to emphasise these important subjects. The person in charge must have a genuine interest in promoting science rather than defending the Prime Minister. He must understand the needs of this young country, especially in the area of technology, and he must work with the Minister of Education to achieve this aim. I propose Saifuddin Nasution Ismail from PKR for this post.

Foreign Affairs should be given to someone who will not subject foreign policy to the dictates of the Prime Minister’s Office. The Ministry should maintain open and friendly relations with other countries while sticking to independent foreign policies that will protect national interests from the superpowers. Someone senior representing Bersatu should be considered for this post.

For the Minister of Federal Territories, I propose Nurul Izzah Anwar from PKR. She knows the problems of the cities and the poor, but she must promise that the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur will be elected and not appointed. This is the way to effectively solve inefficiency and corruption.

A new Coordinating Ministry of Land Development and Housing must be established and headed by someone who can assume the present duties of the Minister of Housing. We face real land issues that the state authorities are not managing properly, such as the many acres of land that have been left undeveloped. We also have an increasingly acute shortage of affordable housing that must be resolved. The Minister can work closely with state authorities for this purpose. I propose someone from Berjasa for this post

Youth and Sports should go to Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman. He is smart and articulate and can reach out to the young. This is an important Ministry to energise and motivate young Malaysians to having a fruitful life.

I propose that the Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Development be helmed by DAP. I don’t know many women MPs in the party but one of them would do a great job. She must be a strong advocate for the rights of women and children.

There should only be four Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department; otherwise, history will repeat itself. I believe the four Ministers can come from Opposition MPs, even if they are not amongst the top leaders. One of the Ministers must be given the authority to reform Parliament and its archaic Standing Orders. Gobind Singh Deo from DAP would suit this task perfectly. The other consideration is to appoint Khalid Samad as Coordinating Minister for Reforms, particularly for matters relating to the Civil Service and the electoral system.

Other Cabinet posts can be filled up later but these critical ones must be announced now. The Prime Minister-designate has to make sure his Ministers will do the necessary work properly and honestly, and sack them if they don’t. He must make sure checks and balances are implemented and institutionalised, because in the future only institutions can save us, not personalities.

There are of course many other capable Opposition leaders, but we also need them to be Mentri Besar and Chief Ministers. In a federation such as ours, good and capable leaders are needed at the state level as well. If the states are not developed, then they will just borrow more and more from the federal government, which is the principal reason why the present Government has mountains of debt to repay.

I hope these suggestions will start a conversation that can be helpful to the Opposition coalition.

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  1. Khan Isfree
    Khan Isfree
    June 19, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    i dont know whether i should cry or i should laugh

    1. No Sympathy
      No Sympathy
      June 20, 2017 at 1:16 am

      Both. For the stupidity portrayed.

  2. No Sympathy
    No Sympathy
    June 20, 2017 at 1:15 am

    Wah … damn good. There is no need for the Sabah/Sarawak Minister. By then as your lineup suggested, the DUN of Sarawak and Sabah would have exited this kleptocrat federation via passing a SEXIT resolution each and are happily surviving on their own pre 1963 Independent Status. There is indeed no Sarawakians or Sabahans fit for inclusion in the lineup and just wondering why they still will be in the Federation that came about from 3 nations coming together with MA63 to form the Federation as equal partners then. Well done!

    1. Khan Isfree
      Khan Isfree
      June 20, 2017 at 7:40 am

      The talk of exit of sabah and sarawak is TREASON to country and king. I as ordinary citizen will not allow it to happen. Both states has enjoyed much development and progress by being part of Malaysia. It has received political stability, security, education and free access of work in Semenanjung. We are not your punching bag. Ask your own state leaders where are the trillions that came from state revenue went.

      1. No Sympathy
        No Sympathy
        June 20, 2017 at 7:31 pm

        I think our wavelengths collided. There were 3 countries or 4 that came together to form a confederated nation. This birth arose with a deep understanding and agreement that those terms as specified in the International Treaty known as Malaysia Agreement 1963 will be upheld by all parties signing on it. The Sarawak Government is one of the signatories to protect Sarawak interests within this new federation. Same goes with the Sabah Government, Singapore Government (then) and the Malayan Government. This new born federation needs to be operated within the terms as stated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963. A lot of discussions were held prior to this Agreement being framed and signed. These include primarily the Inter Governmental Committee Report and the Lord Cobbold Commission Report. A lot of understandings were reached and agreed on within these reports and were accepted by all the signatories so that each of these 4 countries will be protected by its respective governments. Treason is when each of these countries government sell out its motherland for a song. The nation that was born is only a confederation of countries that agree to work within the original agreed terms as in the MA63. If they find that the need to work within this understanding is no longer valid and the MA63 is no longer relevant, then a review should be undertaken to resolve matters arising or to amicably dissolve the MA63. If the MA63 has no significance then how did the confederation comes about in 1963 ? This nation is a confederation of 4 countries originally. One has left and there are 3 left. Maybe History has distorted facts very severely by now. When you sign an agreement for any issue/matter, there must be a route for recourse. How can there be an agreement that has no recourse ? Then what is signing an agreement for ? Unfortunately, we now have a couple of generations who do not differentiate between facts and fictions. Simple fact is Sarawak is a component country that formed this federation. That is why Malayans arriving in Sarawak are given only 30 days visit pass with no work rights. Above this the Sarawak Government can ban “undesirable” Malayans from entering the country to cause trouble. Can you understand this simple fact yet ? Sorry if we are on the different wavelengths indeed !

      2. Khan Isfree
        Khan Isfree
        June 20, 2017 at 8:20 pm

        Selective application of historical facts will only lead to skewed judgment. I was born on 16-9-1963 and yet i dont have rights has a Malaysian to have free travel within my country? Which other country in the world has such system. Even EU have people moving freely. The 1963 agreement was supposed to be reviewed in 1973. In 1975, S&S adopted a system where all states are of equal standing with other states in Peninsula.

        In 1988, upon graduation with MD, i went to work in SS by CHOICE. I did hundreds of Medical Evacuation and i know i have saved hundreds of lives and at some occasion at great risk to my own life. I did it for the my country Malaysia.

        During my time in college, students from SS was given priorities for important programs in Universities. They came out and some went back to work in SS but thousand others have the freedom to work in KL and enjoy big pay and comfortable life.

        They had freedom and preferential treatment that we dont. Just because there is a few bad apples, you cannot stop free movement of people within ONE country.

        What irks me is the politicians that did not focus on national integration but use the issue of oil and MA and seeking to split the nation. This is treason. Given an option, I would shoot this people on sight.

        Borneo merged with Peninsula Malaysia because the risk of Indonesia invasion of sarawak and the phillipines would have invaded the country. Communist would have overran sarawak if not for the police and soldiers like me defending the state.

        Being Malaysian means that we should focus on bringing people closer and not splitting them apart.

      3. No Sympathy
        No Sympathy
        June 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

        I asked for understanding of simple historical facts and I had an emotional outbursts. Young man, spend more time reading up facts, try to understand them, try to understand country/countries and confederated nation, try to understand what is an agreement, what is it for, is there a need for it ? Try to understand how this confederation comes about and ask “Why” more often and seek the truths. Start with a good read on Zainal Ajamain book on ” The Queen’s Obligations” and follow thru with the series on You Tubes relevant to this confederation formation. Wallow in the aspirations of the founding fathers and his generation of newsmakers. Keep emotions at bay, then perhaps daylight will shine through a clouded environment. Simple question to ask now: Do you sign an agreement when buying a house ? If you break every terms as defined in it, does it make you a rightful and better owner of the house ? Facts and Fictions give 2 different sets of answers. Which is yours ? 54 years old is a very young age. Check with Tun M. Have a good day.

      4. Khan Isfree
        Khan Isfree
        June 20, 2017 at 8:44 pm

        I am fully appraised of the history and look at it in totality.

        How long is SS wants to hide behind MA63 and does not allow citizens to have free movement? EU did it and they are not even coalition.

        Malaysia is not a confederation of several states. It is an integration of 13 states.

        Look at the politicians of SS and how to portray that we from peninsula took advantage of SS.

        You too need to look at the big picture and appraise the situation from the spirit of a nation

      5. No Sympathy
        No Sympathy
        June 20, 2017 at 8:55 pm

        I am afraid we are on totally different wavelengths and continuing this discussion is like duck and chicken talking. Firstly you are presenting distorted fact. Malaysia was born from four countries coming together – The Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo. If these 4 countries then did not agree on the formation of Malaysia, there is no Malaysia. That is a fact, sadly. 4 countries together with UK put their ink on what is known as Malaysia Agreement 1963 and this new Federation is formed. Sorry young man, there was never 13 states. That is how history was twisted subsequently when MA63 was ignored and thrown into rubbish bins. If it was ever 13 states, there would be complete freedom of movements of subjects within this new Federation. But that is not so and a comprehensive search for answers to your whys and whys on this would have fetched you a new brightenings and a reasonable understandings of this new federation but unfortunately many chose the simple route to ignore the truths and thus all the emotional misgivings. Time to wave goodbye as our wavelengths differ. Have a good day !

      6. Khan Isfree
        Khan Isfree
        June 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm

        The Malaysia Act in effect abolished the Federation of Malaya and this was in fact challenged by Kelantan but lost.
        Have a good day to you to.

      7. No Sympathy
        No Sympathy
        June 21, 2017 at 2:27 pm

        Yeah ? Young man, please read Zainal Ajamain ” The Queen’s Obligation & IGC Report ” – Formation of Malaysia Series ISBN 978-967-13354-1-3 Chapter 8 to see how trickery works sometimes. I will try to upload his Pg 237 n 238 here.

        The problem is this. Facts are distorted. Please, my learned friend, The Federation Of Malaya came into being in 1957. The Malayan Federation has its own constitution. The Federation of Malaysia came into being on 16 Sept 1963. How did Malaysia come about ? Find out the truths. That is where Malaysia Agreement 1963 together with the IGC came about. That is when Sarawak, Singapore and North Borneo came into the story. Simple fact, a new Federation arose comprising 1) The Federation of Malaya 2)Singapore 3) Sarawak 4)North Borneo. 4 my friend, not 13. Never has been and never were 13. Go for the facts please. Many terms were agreed to by these 4 together with UK and from these the MA63 came into being with all the others. One condition was a New Constitution based on MA63 was to be written. Until today, all we have was sadly an updated version of the Federation of Malaya constitutions being jadded and padded up to be the Constitution of Malaysia. Such is it that the anomalies and glaring discrepancies were highlighted by Zainal in his Chapter 8. Please do research and find out the factual details and then perhaps we can discuss. Else it is a pure waste of time when we are on different wavelengths. Understand the fact that Sarawak and North Borneo did not come together with the 11 states to form the Federation of Malaya in 1957. Understand the extended fact that Sarawak, North Borneo and Singapore together with the Federation of Malaya come together to form the Federation of Malaysia. And there was this simple fact that these 4 together with UK came together and agreed on many many issues covered under the MA63 and finally decide to form the Federation of Malaysia subjected to conditions in this MA63 and if anything needed to be changed in the MA63, the five must come together and agreed on it then they can change the terms as in MA63. Only one change had been done in all these years, that was when they came together and agreed to change the date from 31 August 1963 to 16 September 1963 for Malaysia to come into life. So remember, the MA63 was the conception of Malaysia. There is nothing to hide behind the MA63 please. And, along with all these, there was supposed to be a new Constitution of Federation of Malaysia written up but all we had was an updated version of the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya 1957 to be used as the Constitution of the Federation of Malaysia – which unfortunately did not even specify in it when is Malaysia Day ! 31 August 1957 is Merdeka Day for the Federation of Malaya and it never has anything to do with the Federation of Malaysia. The Federation of Malaysia came into life only on 16 September 1963. Friend, seek the truths and tell the truths and we will all be better persons. Have a good day.

      8. Khan Isfree
        Khan Isfree
        June 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm

        someone opinion cannot override what is written in the law. The author has its own sets of agenda

      9. No Sympathy
        No Sympathy
        June 22, 2017 at 12:12 am

        Please tell your readers here how Malaysia came about. You better be factual. Stop telling fictions. We were there all watching how Malaysia came into being. You are born on that day so better present a factual account of your understanding of how Malaysia came into being. Unfortunately as it is, your understanding is zilch and you had been reading the wrong books and listen to the wrong story tellers. We were there participating and watching on the ground. And we were there eagerly awaiting the IGC Reports, the Lord Cobbold Commission Reports and the MA 1963 being signed. Yeah, we like to laugh too, go ahead and tell your stories …..

      10. Khan Isfree
        Khan Isfree
        June 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        My reply to you with several link to national archives was not approved by admin. (1) I have debunked you on the point that sarawak and federation of malaya form Malaysia and sarawak is not a state under the Federal Government . Sarawak is one of the 13 states .(2) The 18 points was not part of the Malaysia ACT and was not part of the proclamation of Malaysia. It was an ancillary agreement signed between parties before in early July 1963 as part of a discussion and agreement to begin the next phase of discussion on the formation of Malaysia. (3) While i can accept the 17 other points to protect the interest of the sarawakians but i cannot accept the immigration point. We are one country and as one nation, we should have free movement of people. You argue that it is meant to be there as to ensure certain bad elements does not enter sarawak. You sound as if there is no bad elements in sarawak. The sarawak politicians has robbed the people of sarawak of their mineral and timber revenue and you consider them as good? Bad people exist all over the world. No less in sarawak. That should not be the basis of maintaining the immigration point. It has been 54 years and for the sake of national unity and intergration, free movement of the people must be allowed.

      11. No Sympathy
        No Sympathy
        June 23, 2017 at 9:22 pm

        We are duck and chicken yakking. This Federation is definitely heading down the chute if we have lots of learned young men thinking the way you think, more fictions than facts. I am still awaiting your factual story for your readers here of how Malaysia came about. It will definitely be very interesting. Let us end this meaningless discussion here with me quoting your quote: “i dont know whether i should cry or i should laugh”

  3. Ammy Hassan
    Ammy Hassan
    June 20, 2017 at 8:40 am

    “We also have an increasingly acute shortage of affordable housing that must be resolved. The Minister can work closely with state authorities for this purpose. I propose someone from Berjasa for this post…” I doubted this!

  4. sc
    June 22, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Wow… What can I say but Wow. It is severely disappointing to see that you still are jaded in your biased support for a leader that opened the flood gates to corruption. No, being a little bit corrupt is not ok. No, choosing Najib was not ok. When you look at Singapore, at where it was, and where it is today, you can see precisely why Malaysia is a complete basket case of a country. Its because even the most intelligent and educated in Malaysia, are tethered to idiotic ideas that lead to idiotic choices.

    There is no true clarity of facts in Malaysia. Malays are still willing to rub two sticks together to make fire. This is why Malaysia will never be developed…. Because the overwhelming majority is willing to support corruption by being corrupt themselves, and argue no other choice because of fear of missing out, fear of losing something….Willing to accept a bag of rice for a vote. Selfish. It is a completely absolute selfish society. What is good for Malaysia is to face the facts and look at who the best person is, to fix the underlying problems.

    Your country is falling apart. Not because of Najib. It is falling apart because Institutional Reform and the separation of powers were actively dismantled in Mahatir’s regime… The system has always been broken and no Malay in power has been willing to fix it…. Goes to show that education is useless when you’re Ignorant… How sad. What a sad sad unimaginative predicament that has fallen in the choices / opinions that you have made…. I urge you to remove all biased feelings and support fresh young progressive blood.

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