I heard a cabinet reshuffle is coming real soon.
This will mark the start of Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak’s leadership for the critical 2011. The year where we shall see the beginnings of the transformation project he has set forth for the nation. Also, to witness the early results of these transformations. All are expected to come sometime during the tail end of 2011.
Now, the importance in selecting cabinet members cannot be understated. It is not child’s play. And it is certainly not hinge on the whims and fancy of the Prime Minister. He needs to tread this carefully and select the cabinet members based on certain winnable criteria (as if he needs someone to tell him that).
May I suggest that those who walk in the corridors of power to perform integrity checks on any potential cabinet members. Proper test must be made in order to gauge whether a person is fit to fill in the shoes of a cabinet minister or deputy minister post.
And these tests will include medical and mental tests as well. And importantly, a negative check list must be updated by the relevant authorities for the Prime Minister to have a proper positive and negative assessment of the potential candidates.
And above all, a candidate must not have any litigation suit or impending court case that may tarnish the whole image and reputation of the cabinet.
Why create more fodder for the opposition to attack the government?
Thus I am quite concern that Umno Youth leader, who is currently facing a defamation suit will be made cabinet minister soon. As I am sure the Prime Minister has already made up his mind and of course, the former’s appointment as a deputy minister is already inevitable, the threat of a RM100 million lawsuit looming in the horizon might cause an unnecessary hassle for Barisan Nasional. Especially if the court hearing and judgment is so near the upcoming general election.
The case itself is quite serious. Anwar Ibrahim is suing him for defamatory statements made. In December 2008, a judge had ruled in favor of the plaintiff through a judgment in default from the High Court when he failed to enter an appearance after the summons had been served on him.
However in September 2010, due to technicalities, he had successfully set aside the judgment-in-default and will be scheduled for trial. The risk can already be quantified. RM100 million. And loss of reputation by the Cabinet. He needs to see through this defamation case properly before can be admitted into the cabinet.
Regardless, I think it would be wise if due diligence takes into account any impending litigation suits by a potential candidate. Any responsible leader would have done so.
It is a standard practice for all takeovers and mergers acquisitions process in the corporate world. Shouldn’t this be emulated in the leadership and governance process too? Or does Barisan Nasional has really thick bullet proof vest that can withstand all the political attacks by the opposition in the run up to the next general election?
Just a thought.