KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said he was content with his current Cabinet but conceded that there was still room to improve its members’ performance.
Against the backdrop of unrelenting rumours that he will reshuffle his Cabinet, Anwar said during a special interview with news channel TV3 in conjunction with the first anniversary of his government that his ministers have already surpassed those of previous governments.
“I’m happy with the current Cabinet, but I admit there is still room for improvement.
“A Cabinet reshuffle is necessary if the minister’s performance is seen to be poor or if there are other demanding circumstances," he said.
Anwar underscored the importance of giving ministers adequate time to implement policies and demonstrate their abilities and cautioned against premature judgments.
“Ministers should be given a chance to rectify their weaknesses. But I don’t think that after one year, we can make a fair assessment. Some people rule for 10 years, three years, so, one year is too early,” he said.
Responding to a question by host Azaria Tagaya about the possibility of reshuffling his Cabinet and filling the domestic trade and cost of living portfolio left vacant by the death of Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, Anwar said managing the parties in a wide coalition government was a complex affair that required consensus.
“Then, if there is a little adjustment that is needed, then it will be done, including adding a portfolio,” he added.
He added that the question reminded him of when a 12-year-old named Akmal Afif Yasser Arafat approached him after Friday prayers last week to ask about the Cabinet reshuffle.
The young boy suggested a reshuffle before 2024, a proposal that Anwar jokingly agreed to during their meeting on December 1.
On a separate matter, Anwar, who is also finance minister said that people in this country have not yet experienced the comfort they rightfully deserve, highlighting the ongoing efforts of the unity government to elevate the standard of living for the people.
He outlined the unique approach undertaken by the government through the Rahmah Cash Aid (STR), aimed at providing targeted financial assistance to alleviate the financial burdens faced by individuals and households.
“This is something quite different and unique that we started doing and I will improve it,” he said.