Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri is said to be keeping the Ministry of Finance to himself, a crucial ministerial post that was also held by former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the 1MDB scandal
In an exclusive report published by China Press yesterday, 24 August, sources told the Chinese daily that the Prime Minister (PM) is likely to have an audience with the Agong to present the new Cabinet line-up yesterday or today, 25 August.
Sources also said the size of the Cabinet will be shrunk down in comparison with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's 70-member Cabinet, the largest in Malaysian history.
It is also learnt that Perikatan Nasional (PN) secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin, who is also Bersatu secretary-general, will be appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM).
This is in contrast with yesterday's reports, whereby a few sources told different media outlets that former senior minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is the most likely DPM candidate as he has more support in Bersatu than Hamzah.
China Press reported that the new Cabinet members are expected to be sworn in on Friday, 27 August.
According to the Chinese daily, former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba will be left out from the Cabinet
Nine politicians will retain their previous portfolios in the new Cabinet
Citing China Press, The Malaysian Insight reported that nine members of Parliament (MPs) from GPS, MCA, MIC, UMNO, and Bersatu will return to their old roles in Ismail Sabri's administration. They are:
– Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (foreign minister)
– Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (entrepreneur development and cooperative minister)
– Khairy Jamaluddin (science, technology, and innovation minister)
– Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (housing and local government minister)
– Datuk Seri Mohamad Azmin Ali (international trade and industry minister)
– Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (transport minister)
– Datuk Seri M Saravanan (human resources minister)
– Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (youth and sports minister)
– Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (domestic trade and consumer affairs minister)
If the line-up is found to be true, that will mean Zuraida has held the Ministry of Housing and Local Government portfolio three times over the past three administrations.
It is also learnt that former federal territories minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa will be made the communications and multimedia minister while Jelebu MP Datuk Jalaluddin Alias of UMNO will take over his old post.
Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who resigned as the deputy speaker recently, will be appointed as a minister too, sources told China Press, but it is unknown which ministry she will helm.
UMNO leaders who are under trial — such as Najib, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor, among others — will not be given any ministerial roles, the report said.
Sources said the PM will not have any say in who will become his deputy this time because of a deal among the PN lawmakers: