DAP's national publicity secretary Tony Pua was more scathing in his assessment. "It's still the same old horses and same ministries. If you want to bring in political rejects, it makes the cabinet a bit of an artefact. After all the hype, it is a little disappointing," the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said.The back door entry via the Dewan Negara is usually reserved for professionals with specific expertise, who are not your typical politicians (or who did not contest in the elections) to be appointed into the Cabinet to strengthen certain areas of weaknesses. But when you have some half-dozen Ministers who were rejected in elections, then certainly, it makes a mockery of the democratic process. Is the Barisan Nasional leadership cupboard so bare that they have to bring back to life the vanquished?
Is this a demonstration of PM Najib's "People First, Performance Now"?
What was probably most disappointing was the fact that the expectations of a "new-style" cabinet was so high, that Malaysians were all expecting a much leaner cabinet comprising of not more than 25 Ministers. But lo-and-behold, it's 28, and it's still backed up by 40 Deputy Ministers, making the entire frontbench even larger than Pak Lah's 67 members!
And as for the newly elected UMNO Youth Chief, I cannot but feel a little bit for him, after being contemptuously left out of the cabinet list. It cannot be described as anything else but a tight slap on the face when his deputy got included, and worse, his political rival who came in last during the Youth elections found a place in the Cabinet. Hey, even the MCA Youth Chief, Wee Ka Siong had his name listed as a deputy minister and Khairy just isn't good enough?
The new Prime Minister should learn that if he has nothing to deliver, please do not set up expectations sky high. This is the second time he has done so, the first with the "RM60 billion" stimulus package which is really only RM10 billion.
It does appear that the "change" that has been promised will certainly be hard to come by.