Former Second Finance Minister Johari May Return To Cabinet If BN Wins GE15

According to Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, any Cabinet under his leadership is incomplete without the presence of an economic expert such as Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, who is contesting from Titiwangsa.

Cover image via Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali/New Straits Times & Asyraf Hamzah/New Straits Times

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UMNO's Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, who is contesting from Titiwangsa, may see himself return to the Cabinet if his coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) wins the 15th General Election (GE15)

According to Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, any cabinet under his leadership is incomplete without the presence of an economic expert such as Johari, who was the second finance minister pre-GE14.

Ismail Sabri, who is also UMNO vice-president, said a new government will be in need of people with vast experience in economics like Johari to develop and steer the country forward, reported New Straits Times.

"We need people like Johari. It is a loss to the Cabinet without him, since the line-up is missing the presence of an economic expert like Johari. Therefore, the people (in Titiwangsa) must make sure Johari wins the election if they want him to be appointed (as a minister in the next Federal government)," Ismail Sabri said.

Johari held the Titiwangsa seat for one term before he lost the seat to Datuk Seri Rina Harun, who ran under Pakatan Harapan (PH) in GE14

Rina's party, Bersatu, then split from PH in 2020, resulting in the collapse of the PH government.

This GE15, Johari is hoping to make a comeback and reclaim his Titiwangsa seat, where a four-cornered fight will see him vie for votes with PAS' Dr Rosni Adam under Perikatan Nasional (PN), Pejuang's Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, and Amanah's Khalid Abdul Samad under PH on Saturday, 19 November.

And Ismail Sabri, who is hopeful that the Titiwangsa constituents will vote for a candidate with a proven track record, said that although Johari lost in GE14, he continued to provide his services to the people.

Taking a veiled jab against Rina, who is contesting in Sepang instead of defending Titiwangsa, the caretaker Prime Minister said, "The person who won the seat (in GE14) is missing (from the constituency)."

Photo shows Ismail Sabri shaking hands with Johari during the Jelajah Santai Anak-Anak Keramat.

Image via Asyraf Hamzah/New Straits Times

Meanwhile, Johari has supported Ismail Sabri's idea for a less bloated Cabinet as it will make the decision-making process more efficient

He said that the move proposed by Ismail Sabri was not only a cost-saving measure, but that a smaller Cabinet will also make running the country a smoother and more efficient process.

"If we cut down the number of Cabinet members, we can make it a team that is stronger and more efficient because it won't be too big a group [...] What this means also is that we can implement more policies. [With a bigger cabinet], we may have good policies but it takes time for them to be implemented," he added.

According to Johari, a smaller Cabinet will also mean there's less politicking.

"This would mean we can implement things faster and this is important as we are chasing time now, and are basically four and a half years behind because of two years of COVID-19," he said.

Asked about the possibility of a return to the Cabinet if BN forms the government after GE15, Johari said he was ready to answer the call and use all the expertise he has in the corporate world.

Photo shows Johari posing for the camera while on the campaign trail in Titiwangsa.

Image via Syed Jaymal Zahiid/Malay Mail

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