File photo of Najib announcing his new Cabinet line-up in Putrajaya on May 15, 2013. BN parties are not happy with some of his choices. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — All is not well among Barisan Nasional (BN) parties over the distribution of Cabinet posts as Sarawak’s PRS has decided to reject its appointments while SPDP is also upset its four federal wins did not get the party anything.
Several senior Sabah Umno MPs are also grumbling that they were overlooked in the Cabinet appointments while other Umno lawmakers are disputing Hindraf’s P. Waythamoorthy’s selection despite him running down the government previously.
Media reports say Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun will not take up his appointment as minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum has openly rejected being a deputy minister again.
BN secretary-general Datuk Tengku Adnan Mansor told Utusan Malaysia today that the coalition has accepted Gandum’s refusal of his deputy tourism minister post.
PRS president James Masing said the majority of the party’s supreme council members had agreed to reject Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s offer, saying they felt “sidelined” and “deserved to be treated better.”
PRS gained six federal seats and SPDP four to add to BN’s 133-seat haul, doing better than BN parties in Sabah, Sarawak and even the peninsula that were better rewarded.
MIC, which won four seats, got two ministerships and two deputy minister posts while SUPP and PBRS got full ministerships despite each winning only one federal seat.
“PRS and SPDP, which are rural-based parties, are not properly treated by the present government.
“The rural areas in Sarawak are Barisan Nasional ‘fixed deposit’. If you don’t take care of it, somebody will come by and withdraw it,” Masing warned in a report by Free Malaysia Today.
Masing, who chaired an emergency supreme council meeting, said a majority of PRS members felt that a ministerial post in the PM’s Department was unsuitable for PRS.
The news portal also quoted SPDP deputy secretary-general Paul Igai as saying: “I cannot blame party members if they are angry, because it is difficult to accept the prime minister’s decision.
“They’ve even asked whether it was a deliberate attempt to exclude us or whether it was a gross oversight on the part of the prime minister.”
There is a record 13 ministers from east Malaysia in Najib’s Cabinet unveiled last Wednesday.
The Malaysian Insider understands that senior Umno MPs were miffed that they were bypassed in favour of Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who became minister in his second term as a federal lawmaker.
Other Umno MPs are said to be angry that Waythamoorthy was made a deputy minister, pointing out the Hindraf man went into self-exile after the 2007 Hindraf rally where he waged an international campaign to castigate Malaysia for its allegedly bad treatment of Indians.
They pointed out that the Najib administration should reward those who won and worked hard for the coalition rather than those who have not contributed or acted against them in the past.