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Tun M Admits That Reshuffling The Cabinet Has Become A Necessity

The plan to reshuffle the Cabinet comes after Pakatan Harapan lost the Tanjung Piai by-election.

Cover image via Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali/New Straits Times Reddit

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted that there is a need to reshuffle the Cabinet following Pakatan Harapan's defeat in a recent by-election

In a press conference yesterday, 20 November, Dr Mahathir said that a lot of views were presented to him in trying to explain the coalition's defeat in the Tanjung Piai by-election last Saturday, 16 November.

According to Dr Mahathir, while the ruling coalition expected to lose the by-election, they were not expecting Barisan Nasional to win with a huge margin.

BN candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng amassed 25,466 votes in the by-election, defeating PH candidate Karmaine Sardini - who received 10,380 votes - by 15,086 votes, reported New Straits Times.

The Prime Minister said that a Cabinet reshuffle has ultimately become a necessity as critics have attributed the defeat to underperforming ministers

"In the end, we find that there is a need to reshuffle the Cabinet," Dr Mahathir said while speaking to media at Bersatu's headquarters after meeting with the central leadership of the party, reported The Star.

"As the Prime Minister, I am responsible on the matter about Cabinet reshuffling, which I will consult the views from (the coalition).

"Then, I will give it a consideration to see the need to reshuffle the Cabinet."

He, however, said that the reshuffle will not happen "today or tomorrow", adding that it will only happen once they have conducted a detailed study about the capabilities and achievements of the current Ministers.

Nonetheless, Dr Mahathir warned that a Cabinet reshuffle may not be the answer to the government's problems

"A reshuffle by itself is not something that can improve the government's position," he said, adding that it could even pose a bigger problem for them. 

He reiterated that it is important to study the performance of the current ministers as well as the prospective successors' capabilities.

He also added that the reshuffle will not be a "radical" one as the country is hosting an important international summit next year

Dr Mahathir said the government cannot risk making drastic changes in the Cabinet line-up as the country is preparing to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' 2020 summit, reported Malaysiakini.

Malaysia will be receiving leaders from many countries, including those with world power, at the summit happening in November 2020.

The Prime Minister hopes that the reshuffle will take place before the summit. 

Dr Mahathir's decision to reshuffle the Cabinet comes after a year-long denial that such a motion will happen

When celebrating the first anniversary of PH as the ruling coalition in May, Dr Mahathir rubbished the rumours that a Cabinet reshuffle was underway, reported New Straits Times.

He rated his ministers five out of ten, but added that he was 100% behind his team.

In July, speculations arose again after a group photo capturing every Minister went viral, reported Malay Mail.

When asked to clarify the matter, Dr Mahathir smiled and said: "What do you suggest? I listen to people you know, I am influenced by you."

Later in August, he said there will not be a Cabinet reshuffle but maybe a change of portfolio among the Ministers, reported Bernama.

It was speculated that Jeli Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed would become a Minister, but Dr Mahathir replied: "No new ministers."

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