PETALING JAYA: It is a Cabinet of ‘All the President’s Men’ where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak can now move forward without looking back in fear of being stab.
The reshuffle reflected Najib’s seriousness in wanting a strong and united team who can ‘toe the line’ and remain united in times of ups and downs for the country to move forward politically which in turn improve the economy and social status of the nation.
Strengthening and building a strong team in the Cabinet seems to be the only way Najib saw as a means to move forward in today’s challenging times.
Najib’s action is considered as courageous as it was done at a time when confidence and trust is running low among the public towards him and the government following the 1MDB issue which is now under investigation.
He may face a backlash from his own party members who are supporters of those dropped – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is the deputy president and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal who is a vice-president – both having great influence among grassroot members.
However, despite being described as soft, Najib is willing to face any tribulations from his action with the objective of having a strong and united team in the Cabinet.
It was said that it took some time for him to initiate the changes given his nature of reconciliation and moderate attitude as well as trusting to anyone.
Najib had given a free hand to all his Cabinet ministers to deal with issues and with members of the public so long as they were done accordingly following the decorum and procedures.
According to many who know the Prime Minister who is Umno president, Najib is a man who accepts criticism and willing to debate issues but as ministers and Umno leaders, he would prefer this be done in closed doors and within the four walls.
They said Najib did not discuss the reshuffle with anyone until the last minute – Monday night – where the only minister he called was Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
It was said that he told Zahid he would want him to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin which shocked Zahid but he went along with the idea after Najib explained in length the reasons.
Najib had personally spoken to Muhyiddin earlier, on the reshuffle where the latter would be dropped, which the former also did to Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Datuk Seri G. Palanivel as well as Datuk Seri Hassan Malek.
It is not known what were the reasons given to each of the minister over the move but sources said they all accepted the decision with open hearts given the fact that Cabinet appointment is the sole prerogative of the Prime Minister.
But the fact is clear that Najib needs team players who not only support him in these trying times but also contribute in strengthening unity particularly in Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) administration on the whole.
Having cabinet members who are also party leaders who are not in-sync is like inviting more trouble instead of helping to solve problems.
What Najib had just done is just simple a move that will see a united and strong Cabinet that will be with him in riding over rough waves and rocky waters to ensure the ship does not collapse.