Wow factors of Najib Cabinet? Backdoor Cabinet, Parti Belakang

Wow factors of Najib Cabinet – most number of “backdoor” Senators with Parti Gerakan becoming “Parti Belakang” under Tsu Koon

By Lim Kit Siang

What is the Wow factor in the Najib Cabinet?

None on the positive side.

If any, there are the negatives, viz:

·         Najib’s “backdoor” Cabinet – the first Cabinet in the nation’s 52-year history with the most number of “backdoor” Senators, 11 in all and comprising mostly of candidates rejected by the voters in the political tsunami of last year’s general elections.

·         Replacement of one set of “old faces” like Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said but who have entered Parliamen by the front-door by a set of equally “old faces” like Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Datuk Dr. Awang Adek Hussin who have to get into Parliament by the backdoor of the Senate as they had been rejected by the voters in last year’s general elections.

·         Parti Gerakan becoming “Parti Belakang” with its president having to sneak into Parliament from the backdoor.

It is laughable to see a senior Cabinet Minister yesterday desperately trying to justify and convince the media that the Najib Cabinet is a “lean” one, claiming that there had been a reduction from 32 Ministers to 28, when in fact it was from 31 to 29, as Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had a 31-strong Cabinet when he submitted his resignation to the Yang di Pertuan Agong on 3rd April while Najib is now heading a 29-strong Cabinet!

Najib said that “The era where the government knows best is over” and that “We can only achieve our ambition for Malaysia if the government and people, in a united effort, work together for success and progress”.

Yet the first thing Najib did as Prime Minister was to violate this important principle that “the era where the government knows best is over” by appointing the most number of rejected politicians in last year’s general election into his Cabinet through the backdoor of Parliament, a fundamental defect which cannot be cured by Najib’s claiming that he has formed a People’s Cabinet!

Tsu Koon has denied that he is a “back door minister” – given prominence by Star today, with the headline “’I’m no back door minister’ – Gerakan’s Koh defends appointment”.

My blog has received email of a media report in May last year with the headline, Exclusive Interview With The Gerakan Acting President: No Back Door Approach, quoting Tsu Koon as giving two reasons for rejecting any offer of Senator and Minister.

Tsu Koon quoted MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu that it was “going through the back door” if he accepted the offer as a Senator after being defeated in the general elections and that it would be “contrary to the true meaning of democratic elections” to become a Minister through a Senate appointment.

As for his ministerial portfolio of “Unity and Performance Management”, can Tsu Koon, who had been a Penang Chief Minister without power for 18 years and who had to buckle down to the demands and pressures from lowly Umno divisional and branch leaders, have the power to monitor the ministerial performance of UMNO warlords in the Najib Cabinet like Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein?

Would his writ even extend to the MCA Ministers?

Tell it to the marines!

If Najib is serious about using the key performance indicators (KPI) to “stress impact and not input, results and not output, and value for money” to monitor the performance of Ministers, this portfolio should be the direct responsibility of the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister and not be entrusted to a fly-weight Senator Minister.

In the first place, is Tsu Koon able to work out and publicise a KPI framework to monitor the success of his other ministerial responsibility, to promote national unity, so that Malaysians can see the three Najib slogans of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” translated into policies, actions and results, particularly in reining in the extremist and irresponsible racialist and religious by Umno leaders most recently manifested in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections.

Lim Kit Siang