Saravanan back, different role for Hannah in reshuffle

The change is because of the need to secure votes from the Indian community and the younger generation, says a high-level source.

(FMT) – M Saravanan of MIC and Hannah Yeoh of DAP are the latest names to have cropped up in current talk about an impending Cabinet reshuffle.

Saravanan could be making a return to the Cabinet, while Yeoh could be moved out of youth and sports to another ministry, according to a well-placed political source.

The changes would be made for political reasons, the source said.

Saravanan, who is the MIC deputy president, would be included to shore up government support from the Indian community, after an apparent swing in Indian votes to the opposition in the six state elections in August.

He is tipped to return as human resources minister, a post he held from 2020 to 2022. “He has the experience needed in that particular ministry so it would only make sense (for the government) to place him there,” the source said.

The loss of support among young voters in the state elections would lead to Yeoh, a DAP central executive committee member, being given another portfolio instead of youth and sports, the source said.

The state elections showed that young voters are still not supporting the unity government. “The youth and sports ministry plays a crucial role in ensuring that the youths will back the government but it does not seem to be happening,” the source said.

Another reason could be Malaysia’s failure to do well at the SEA Games earlier this year. The Malaysian contingent failed to achieve its target of 40 gold medals, winning 34 gold, 45 silver and 97 bronze medals to finish seventh among 11 countries.

Yeoh had stated that the Malaysian contingent’s poor performance was a result of the several changes in government since 2018.

Yesterday, sources told FMT that representatives of MCA and MIC may be made ministers in the Cabinet reshuffle, which is expected to take place after the Pelangai by-election on Oct 7.

A source from the prime minister’s office said the reshuffle would involve mainly MPs from PKR, the party led by Anwar Ibrahim.

The source said Anwar could not afford to upset his coalition partners in Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan component parties DAP and Amanah.

Among those expected to be dropped is Saraswathy Kandasami of PKR, who is the deputy entrepreneur and cooperatives development minister.

On Sunday, deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hinted that a Cabinet reshuffle was imminent and was in order as no one had been appointed as the minister for domestic trade and cost of living to succeed Salahuddin Ayub, who died in July.