PUTRAJAYA: There are currently no vacancies in the Cabinet, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday (Aug 29) in response to queries on when prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim will join the Pakatan Harapan coalition government.
“We are not adding, making any change or any increase in the number of members of the Cabinet. There is no discussion on Cabinet portfolio change as well,” Dr Mahathir said at a news conference after chairing a Bersatu council meeting.
"Since nobody has indicated they want to resign, we have no vacancy. When we have (any) vacancy, we will consider suitable candidates," he added.
Last week, Dr Mahathir mentioned the possibility of changes to the portfolios of ministers, but ruled out an imminent reshuffle.
Talk of a Cabinet reshuffle has surfaced from time to time since Dr Mahathir led Pakatan Harapan to a shock victory in the general election last year.
While Dr Mahathir was appointed as prime minister, it was agreed that Mr Anwar, who was still in prison until a royal pardon was granted on May 16, 2018, would eventually take over the premiership.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had said that the agreement was for Mr Anwar to take over in two years’ time, but others including Dr Mahathir’s son Mr Mukhriz Mahathir, said there has never been an agreed timeline.
Dr Mahathir, who turned 94 last month, has repeatedly maintained that he will adhere to the succession plan but has appeared to be non-committal over the deadline.
In June, Dr Mahathir said he would not serve beyond three years.