Dzulkifly back? Hannah Yeoh to take over Women's Ministry? - Breath of fresh air for key ministries

12 Dec 2023 10:26am
Anwar Ibrahim - FILE PIX by Bernama
Anwar Ibrahim - FILE PIX by Bernama

SHAH ALAM - In a significant political development, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be announcing a major Cabinet reshuffle, potentially impacting several key ministries.

The anticipated restructuring could include changes in the Finance Ministry, Communications and Digital Ministry, Health Ministry, Federal Territories Ministry, and the Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Ministry.

A notable expected change involves Human Resources Minister V Sivakumar, who was appointed on Dec 3 last year.

Sources indicate that Sivakumar might be replaced, with the current Deputy Finance Minister II Steven Sim Chee Keong likely to take over his portfolio.

Sivakumar's political journey has been turbulent, particularly following repeated calls for his resignation in April this year after an aide and several senior ministry officers were arrested over allegations of corruption.

Speculations also suggest potential changes in other ministries.

Former Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad is rumored to be returning to the Health Ministry, while the outgoing Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa is speculated to take over the Federal Territories Ministry.

Further, it is anticipated that Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan might move from Defence Ministry to Foreign Ministry, and Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir could transition from Foreign Minister to Higher Education Minister.

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The current Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali, is expected to continue leading the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister II Datuk Seri Fadhilah Yusof might shift from Plantation and Commodities Minister to a portion of the Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Ministry, which is rumored to be split into two.

This move is seen as aligning with the upcoming energy-related plans in Sarawak, potentially asserting control over Petronas and the hydrogen economy.

There are also talks about Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani replacing Fadhilah as Plantation and Commodities Minister.

For the Finance Minister II position, Employees Provident Fund CEO Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan is speculated to be the new appointee, with his move having been discussed for several months.

In the Communications and Digital Ministry, Fahmi Fadzil’s portfolio is expected to be divided into two, with Fahmi helming the digital aspect and former communications minister and current Damansara MP Gobind Singh Deo likely taking over the communications aspect.

Another significant change might see Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh becoming the new Women, Family, and Community Development Minister.

The reshuffle also touches on the less experienced politicians.

Sources have said that Youth and Sports Deputy Minister Adam Adli, notorious for his anti-establishment protests in his 20s, has been struggling to keep up with his senior, Hannah due to his relative inexperience.

Despite his long-standing involvement in politics and activism, Adam's adjustment to the role of Deputy Minister is not without challenges.

Adam first shot to fame as a 23-year-old activist who brought down a flag-bearing then Najib’s image at Umno’s headquarters in 2011 during a student protest.

He was later detained by the police for taking part in a protest calling for academic freedom at his alma mater, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), which later suspended him for six years.

Two years later, Adam was arrested and charged with sedition for calling for a street protest following the 2013 general election, after perceived gerrymandering allowed the Najib-led BN to win a majority of seats in the fiercely contested polls despite the opposition, then called Pakatan Rakyat, winning the popular vote.

Adam spent five years in and out of court as he appealed his subsequent conviction and one-year jail sentence, before he was finally acquitted in early 2018.

In September that year, UPSI finally lifted his suspension, allowing him to finish his studies in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).

Rafizi Ramli's position seems secure as he maintains his position as Economy Minister despite criticism over his performance and a recent health scare.