Here at The Choice, we have made much of Pakatan Rakyat’s failure to produce a Shadow Cabinet, something every minimally competent opposition in the world does as a matter of course. But this is only because we believe Pakatan can be better, and should be better. They do us and themselves a disservice.
We are here to help. In that spirit, we have decided to offer a proposed Shadow Cabinet, one that we hope will guide Pakatan Rakyat as they produce their jointly agreed manifesto (coming soon no doubt!) and prepare for GE13.
Shadow Prime Minister/Shadow Finance Minister/Shadow Chief Press Secretary/Shadow Ambassador to Israel: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. His unique ability to bring people together, but rarely in the same room, makes him the obvious choice as Opposition Leader. His skill in finance — demonstrated again and again in Selangor’s booming economy and in his belief that the Government can give out free petrol at no cost — makes him the ideal choice for Shadow Finance Minister. His skill at knowing just what to say and when, together with his self-effacing nature and ability to put himself before a microphone only eleven times a day, makes him the perfect choice for Shadow Press Secretary. His rapport with Israel is anybody’s guess.
Shadow Deputy Prime Minister: Azmin Ali. Where would Anwar go without him? Can Anwar go anywhere without him?
Other Shadow Deputy Prime Minister: Nurul Izzah Anwar. No Pakatan Government would be complete without at least two of Anwar’s immediate family members.
Shadow Defence Minister: Lim Guan Eng. Ordinarily, being the Chief Minister of a State precludes one from holding a Cabinet-level position, but as DAP has already made an exception for Guan Eng in the one-man one-seat rule, there is no reason why it cannot make another. The talented Guan Eng, whose formidable experience riding submarines has made him into a procurement expert, will thrive in this role.
Shadow Hudud Minister: Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. Who better to oversee the implementation of hudud law in Malaysia than the man who can’t bring himself to say once and for all whether PAS supports it? If there is anything that this delicate subject demands, it is a man who cannot even say whether his party supports it at its head. So we recommend creating a new Hudud Ministry.
Shadow Minister for Islamic Affairs: Lim Kit Siang. DAP’s willingness to tolerate a coalition partner explicitly calling for hudud law demonstrates the party’s willingness to subordinate a core ideal — a secular public sphere — in the name of harmony. Kit Siang will bring his party’s single-mindedness and unique approach to Islam to this frequently-overlooked post.
Shadow Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation: Datuk Dr Hasan Ali. We would expect severe cuts to research funding for solar-powered bibles under his regime, but Hasan’s flexible approach to the world would allow him to help Malaysia push forward vigourously into the 15th century.
Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs: Abolished. With Anwar constantly before foreign journalists, why bother with a separate foreign policy?
Shadow Minister for Youth and Sport: Dato’ Nik Abdul Aziz. We enjoy our Formula 1, we boast our share of Premier League fanatics, but has anyone recently worked to revive snooker’s place in our hearts? Nik Aziz could be precisely the man to do this; and with his very own Guan Eng Waiver, he could both remain Menteri Besar for Kelantan and take on this portfolio.
Shadow Minister of Home Affairs: Mat Sabu. Who else to lead Malaysia’s police and civil defence forces than the man who bravely re-cast the attack on the Bukit Kepong police station as a brave moment of Malaysian independence? The PAS man is well-positioned to ride the wave of support he received after his brave speech to help Malaysia’s police forces transition into an effective group of passive bystanders.
Shadow Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Information Dissemination: Rafizi Ramli. The gregarious and likeable Rafizi is the perfect choice to provide Government information, no matter how accurate or up-to-date, always with a smile on his face.
These are but suggestions, but we expect Pakatan’s upcoming announcement of its shadow cabinet (any day now) to be just as suggestive.