Why shadow cabinet in Sarawak only?

Posted on May 4, 2011


All this talk about shadow cabinets in Sarawak has made me wonder why we’ve never heard of shadow cabinets formed in other parts of our beloved country before this.

Is it because the opposition leaders in Sarawak are so outstanding and so different from their peers in other states and is that why only opposition YBs from Sarawak have the audacity to form a shadow cabinet?

Or perhaps it’s because the shadow cabinet in Sarawak is led by DAP? Could that be the reason? Who know?!

All I know is there is no shadow cabinet formed in other states and there’s definitely none formed at Federal level.

But if there was a Federal shadow cabinet, I wonder what it would look like?

Would it look a lot like the Sarawak shadow cabinet?

Since the coalition of convenience, or sometimes known as Pakatan Rakyat would be in charge of the shadow government, we can safely say that the Federal shadow cabinet would include members from PKR, DAP and PAS.

Just like in Sarawak, DAP also has more seats (29, I think) in the Federal Parliament compared to the other parties in the coalition of convenience.

So we can safely assume the Federal shadow cabinet would be led by someone from DAP, and that DAP would also have more shadow ministers than either PKR or PAS.

That would be the logical way to go, wouldn’t it?

But then again, wouldn’t the spiritual leader of PKR (or his wife for that matter) deserve to lead this fantasy Federal shadow cabinet?

Maybe, the coalition of convenience would form an agreement for the PKR spiritual leader (or his wife or daughter) to lead, but as we all know, everything can UBAH with the coalition of convenience.

Don’t forget, before our recent elections, they said that guy from PKR (blue-eyed-boy of opposition blog Sarawak Report) would lead the opposition in Sarawak.

After election, that guy ended up NOT leading the opposition in Sarawak. (Poor guy, but at least all that relentless effort by the opposition blog Sarawak Report managed to fulfill his dream of becoming a YB!)

Perfect example of UBAH FIKIRAN and UBAH SKRIP!

So that means Sarawak opposition’s shadow cabinet follows what that DAP guy in Penang (and his father) says should be done in Sarawak.

That also means the opposition’s shadow cabinet wouldn’t be following the course of action proposed by PKR’s spiritual leader (or his wife).

I guess the answer to my own question as to why there’s no shadow cabinet set up outside Sarawak…is that there would just be too much jostling or fighting for “shadow seats” in the shadow cabinet in Malaya.

Since DAP has been able to set up a shadow cabinet in Sarawak without too much trouble, maybe PKR and PAS should just let DAP handle the shadow cabinets throughout the country, as well.

Besides, DAP has always stressed that it represents all communities and not just the Chinese community.

So there should not be any problem either if all the shadow cabinets in all the other states and in the Federal shadow cabinet should be led by DAP.

This is especially so if DAP has more YBs in a particular state.

Of course, as I just mentioned, DAP has more seats in the Federal Parliament, so it’s only natural that DAP should also lead the Federal shadow cabinet, as well.

But at the end of the day, let us not forget what our DUN Speaker has informed us about shadow cabinets in Malaysia – they’re just fantasy and make believe.

Which simply means that even if an opposition member declares himself (or herself) as shadow Minister of Tuak and Langkau, no one other than their close drinking buddies should take them seriously. Seriously.

How The Borneo Post saw the shadow cabinet story:

Formation of shadow cabinet unconstitutional — DUN Speaker

by Johnson K Saai. Posted on May 4, 2011, Wednesday

KUCHING: Opposition parties in Sarawak have every right to form a shadow cabinet but at the end of the day it will not be recognised by any state law.

State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Dato Sri Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar said in Sarawak neither the State Constitution, Standing Orders of the DUN nor the DUN Privileges and Powers Ordinance 2007 give the opposition parties any recognition to be an alternative government.

“Unlike in England where the opposition party is being recognised as an alternative government and has the political standing of being a government during certain part of the political history of Britain, the position in Sarawak is entirely different.

“Here, the relevant laws that we have only recognise the constitutional status of the state government comprising the ministers and assistant ministers.

“I want to draw a distinction between the position in the UK and Sarawak. In Sarawak there is no recognition accorded by the State Constitution, Standing Orders of the DUN and the DUN Privileges and Powers Ordinance 2007 to the opposition parties to be an alternative government. This is the difference between the UK and Sarawak,” he said.

He told reporters this, when asked to comment on the shadow cabinet to be set up by the opposition parties after the Democratic Action Party (DAP) secured 12 seats, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) won three and one seat went to an independent in the recent election.

He was met after the swearing-in ceremony for 12 assistant ministers who were reinstated to the portfolios they held prior to the April 16 polls.

Two other former assistant ministers — Datuk Dr Abang Rauf (Industrial Development) and Larry Sng (Youth Affairs and Training of Youths) — were also not in the list, after they were not re-nominated to contest in the election.

On 18th of last month, eight cabinet ministers took their oaths of office, two days after Barisan Nasional (BN) was given a fresh mandate by the people in the election.

They include Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, who retained his Deputy Chief Minister; Minister of Agriculture, and Rural Development portfolios.

Seven other cabinet ministers were Dato Sri Dr James Masing (Land Development), Dato Sri William Mawan (Social Development and Urbanisation), Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg (Housing and Urban Development), Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh (Environment and Public Health), Dato Sri Michael Manyin (Infrastructure Development and Communication), Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan (Public Utilities) and Datin Fatimah Abdullah (Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office).

However, former deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, who also previously held two other portfolios, was not retained after he lost in the election.

His Industrial Development Minister’s portfolio was given to Taib, while the Tourism and Heritage given to Abang Johari.