THINGS are hot on the ground after Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced his Cabinet lineup yesterday. The Prime Minister's press conference was short, depriving the waiting journalists with a full rationale of the appointments.
No doubt the appointments were the PM's sole prerogative, but an insight into the whys these MPs, senators and would-be senators from the PM wouldn't hurt anyone. In fact, it would help the voters understand some of the thinking why their MPs were selected or dropped.
That notwithstanding, the appointments did not meet with complete approval. At least one MP, Datuk Anifah Aman (Kimanis, Sabah) had rejected the offer, believed to be because he had hoped for a promotion to full minister having served as a deputy for two terms.
Word on the ground is that Tengku Dato Seri Azlan Ahmad Syah too had declined the post of deputy foreign minister, also on the same ground. It's not often one hears of such rejection, and almost immediately after their names were made public. Mind you, the rejection comes on the eve of the swearing in of these ministers and deputy ministers.
Wanita Umno, an important wing of the party, is also upset, to say the least, of the announcement. No wanita representative is in the Cabinet, a departure from all past appointments. This has prompted the Wanita members to demand an explanation from Pak Lah.
These issues are not likely going to go away. Pak Lah has high hopes for his Cabinet, and the people are not going to wait long before they, too, voice their displeasures. The people had done this via the ballot boxes on March 8, and they expect the government to start delivering their promises ASAP (as soon as possible).
Pak Lah will also have to give some thought to Pemuda Umno's decision not to take any disciplinary action on Jerlun MP, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, for demanding the PM's resignation for the poor showing of the Barisan Nasional in last week's general election.
On top of this, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, is also asking Umno members to join him in demanding for an extraordinary general assembly to discuss party leadership in the wake of the general election which saw the opposition forming new governments in Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor.
The next few days are going to be a most interesting period for all of us. More surprises could be in store.