PETALING JAYA: Umno information chief Isham Jalil has cautioned against significantly reducing the size of the Cabinet, saying it could burden each minister with too many responsibilities.
According to Astro Awani, Isham said the optimal size of the Cabinet was 28 ministers as a lower number of ministerial positions would mean merging several ministries.
He said this would cause difficulties for each ministry to function given the heavier burden of responsibilities.
Isham said that according to Malaysia’s legislation system, ministers had discretionary powers when it came to secondary legislation, which are laws created by ministers under powers given to them by an Act of Parliament.
“If we place too much authority or jurisdiction in one minister due to the merger of ministries, the checks and balances (on their authority) will no longer be effective,” he was quoted as saying.
He said it was pointless to reduce the number of ministers when the number of civil servants remained the same.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has repeatedly expressed a desire to reduce the size of the Cabinet.
The previous Cabinet under Ismail Sabri Yaakob had 31 ministers, who were assisted by 38 deputy ministers.