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    More time needed for new Cabinet, says Anwar

    ANN/THE STAR – More time is needed to consider all views before unveiling a leaner Cabinet, said Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

    “It is unlike before, as this unity government involves many parties. Before making any decision, I have to listen to all views. The problem now is that the Cabinet will be downsized,” he said.

    Anwar spoke about a previous practice with regard to Cabinet appointments, where many appointments were made.

    “Previously, you could just slot in 50, 60, 70 members and if that is not enough, there will be appointments of special envoys and advisors. I am not willing to do that,” he added.

    Anwar said this when speaking to reporters yesterday after chairing the first Pakatan Harapan presidential council since his appointment as the Prime Minister.

    Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and his wife Wan Azizah wave as they arrive ahead of a gathering in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: AFP

    There has been recent speculation on the appointment of Cabinet ministers following the formation of the unity government.

    On calls by certain quarters to not include Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in Cabinet due to his court cases, the prime minister said all views will be considered.

    He added that the outcome of the case will only be known once there is a conviction or acquittal.

    UMNO secretary general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan had made calls that Ahmad Zahid should be included in discussions on the new Cabinet line-up.

    Meanwhile, on a statement by Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh that there is no need for the vote of confidence when Parliament convenes on December 19, Anwar said that this is his view based on the Federal Constitution.

    He said that Ramkarpal is correct in his interpretation of the constitution that there is no need to call for a vote of confidence, as Pakatan has already secured the majority.

    “This was also discussed. We are of the view that it should not only be a matter of fulfilling the constitution. I think the political perception of legitimacy is also important,” said Anwar.

    “So we are going ahead with the vote of confidence,” he added.

    The parliamentary support of the government led by Anwar will be tested when the Dewan Rakyat’s new session commences. According to Anwar, the first order of the sitting would be tabling a motion on holding a confidence vote by MPs.

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