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Malaysia's opposition Barisan Nasional forms shadow Cabinet

Malaysia's opposition Barisan Nasional forms shadow Cabinet

A motorist rides past flags of Barisan Nasional, May 8, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Manan Vatsyayana)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has formed a shadow Cabinet for every ministry, to provide alternative policies and to be a "check and balance" to the first-time Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. 

This was announced by UMNO secretary-general Annuar Musa on Wednesday (Sep 26). The United Malays National Organisation dominated Malaysian politics until the BN coalition was defeated in May's general election. 

For every ministry under the PH government, the BN will have a corresponding taskforce known as the Portfolio Committee (JKP), which will be made up of a chairman and two other BN members of parliament, with at least three more professionals to be included in future.

“The JKP plays a role as a check and balance for every ministry. It also provides a policy watch as well as formulating alternative policies to compete against the PH policies,” Annuar said at a media conference on Wednesday.

The JKPs are broadly organised into four clusters: Prime Minister's Department; Finance, Economy and Industries; Education, Social and Culture; and Infrastructure, Technology and Health.

BN president and former deputy prime minister Zahid Hamidi is leading the Prime Minister's Department shadow portfolio, while former youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin is leading finance. 

"Everyone in the shadow portfolios will be involved in coming up with an alternative budget, led by Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin," said Annuar. 

Former prime minister Najib Razak, who is facing corruption and money laundering charges, is not part of the shadow Cabinet.

A discussion was held among BN component parties UMNO, MCA, MIC and PBRS before the shadow Cabinet was formed. 

Annuar added that members of parliament from the other blocks, namely Gagasan Sabah, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and PAS, are also welcome to join the JKP if they wished to do so.

Pakatan Harapan's first budget will be unveiled in November.

Additional reporting by Sumisha Naidu


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