Cabinet reshuffle: Do not make speculations, trust PMTUAN BUQHAIRAH TUAN MUHAMAD ADNAN
PUTRAJAYA - Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi asks all parties to not make speculations on the Cabinet reshuffle.
He said it was Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's absolute authority as Prime Minister to decide.
"It was not discussed in the Cabinet meeting. Do not speculate, trust the PM," he said in a press conference after chairing the Malaysia Halal Council meeting today
He said there was no discussion about the reshuffle between Anwar and him as BN chairman and Umno president.
"I haven't discussed it with the PM and as of 5pm, there is no sign that Anwar will call me to inform me of the matter," he shared.
Zahid also rejected the possibility of it being discussed in the cabinet meeting tomorrow.
"It will never be discussed in a cabinet meeting," he stressed.
In regard to the possibility of any minister being dropped, the Rural and Regional Development Minister said that it was entirely up to Anwar.
"No Prime Ministers will discuss who to drop or appoint in the cabinet meeting," he denied.
Speculation about the new cabinet line-up announcement heated up after Zahid confirmed that a reshuffle would be held in the near future.
One of the reasons was to fill the vacancy of the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister following the death of its incumbent Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub.
Meanwhile, in a different update, Zahid said that the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) would work closely to shorten the grant of halal certification from nine months and two years previously to only 23 working days.
He said that the proactive step was taken following complaints from industry players especially halal product manufacturers who stated that the issuance of halal certificates was too slow causing delays in product distribution into both domestic and foreign markets.
"The Council also agreed that HDC and the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) would implement the process for this new application through a proof of concept (POC) where five hotel kitchen and restaurant premises in Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya are made POC for a period two months.
"After the success, it will be implemented at the state level with the cooperation of the state government to speed up the application for a halal certificate," he said.