Among the names submitted by PKR for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s consideration as cabinet ministers are its secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution and vice-presidents Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin and Dr Xavier Jayakumar.
This is according to Shamsul, who said he was made to understand that most of those in the PKR top leadership were included in the list of minister candidates.
“They put all the top leaders (such as) myself, Xavier, Saifuddin... in the list,” he said yesterday.
However, Shamsul said, he does not know which cabinet positions PKR was seeking, as the letter containing the list of names was sent directly to the prime minister by party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
“The letter was sent by the president herself, so I am not in the know. But according to her, she put all the top leaders' names, which includes vice-presidents, the secretary-general and all that,” he said.
Shamsul added that he was unsure if vice-presidents Nurul Izzah Anwar and Rafizi Ramli were included in the list.
Previously, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim had said that Nurul Izzah does not want any position in the cabinet.
Shamsul (photo) also noted Rafizi's ongoing criminal case when the list was submitted.
Shamsul, who is also the Hang Tuah Jaya MP, believes that the next announcement of cabinet ministers could include six or seven ministers from PKR, as their party won the most number of seats in the last general election.
"We hope proportionate representation will be seen in the line-up."
He also hopes that Mahathir will announce the full cabinet line-up soon, as the next parliamentary sitting starts on July 16.
Shamsul said the new ministers should be given time to thoroughly study their ministries before the parliamentary sitting.
"And of course, the people are waiting anxiously to find out who's going to be in charge of specific ministries and the amalgamation of ministries," he said.
Eyes the Foreign Ministry portfolio
With his name submitted as a candidate for a cabinet position, Shamsul said if he were to be selected as a minister, he would like to get the portfolio of the Foreign Ministry.
While he understands the cabinet formation is entirely the prime minister's prerogative, he believes he has a lot of experience dealing with international commitments and contributions.
He pointed out that he is the elected treasurer for the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and was actively involved in the international organisation Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), as well as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
"Even though this was when we were still the opposition, so we had very limited experience. But I was given the confidence to represent my party and the opposition bloc in various international programmes and summits, so that really attracts my interest," Shamsul said.
Another portfolio he would be interested in is the Tourism Ministry, as his constituency is in the tourism state of Malacca.
Shamsul believes he can empower the tourism industry, not only in Malacca but also in other states such as Sabah, Terengganu and Kelantan.
"It is very much related to the place that I represent and I have interest in developing and exploring more of the tourism industry so it can contribute revenue to the current administration," he said.
Currently, 13 ministers have been announced, and Mahathir has said that the total number of ministries this administration intends to have will not exceed 30.
This number will also include ministers from Sabah and Sarawak, he said.