One of the wacky things Walski has to for work includes driving 300km for a lunch appointment. And this he has to do in a short while this morning. Which means that in all likelihood, he's going to miss the announcement of this new cabinet everyone seems to be talking about.
Walski remembers the time before he moved into his new house, a couple of years ago, a lot of time was spent with the Mrs going around furniture shops to select the right items for the house. We had to weigh style vs affordability, suitability vs budget, and a myriad of other considerations.
All in all, it was a very time consuming process, and you wouldn't believe the number of different places we went to until we could come to an agreement about what we were going to get. But in the end, the time and effort spent was well worth it. Those of you who've moved into a new house or apartment will probably agree with this.
Like shopping for the furniture variety of cabinets, deciding on the ministerial kind is also a time intensive process. Or at least, it should be.
Now here's the thing. It could be generally agreed that Malaysia voted for change on March 8th. And Walski believes that Pak Lah is well aware of this. Unless he really is that dense, and gets bad advice from equally dense people.
Because this time around, it's not going to be at all straightforward selecting the right mix for the next Malaysian Ministerial Cabinet - it's literally an exercise of the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't kind.
(the difficult process of selecting cabinets, in the full post)
So, is it going to be an antique, heavy teak kind of cabinet? You know, the old is gold kind... In other words, not much change from what we've had for the past four plus years. We already know that Uncle Sam has declined to be part of this new cabinet, via the back door, by being appointed a Senator to the Upper House of Parliament. Good for you, Sam. But what about the other hangers-on? In particular, Walski would be interested if ZAM will find a place in the new cabinet, despite losing the constituency he stood in. Walski certainly hopes not. Not even if he's put in a cooler part of this new cabinet... for cold storage.
You see, the thing is, if Pak Lah drops those veterans who really want to hang on to becoming ministers, there is a possibility of numerous little Napoleon revolts within BN, particularly within UMNO. Already, there's all kinds of talk going around that factions within UMNO about how they're not happy with Pak Lah's leadership. First, Mukhriz Mahathir dropped the bombshell of a letter, and now stalwart Tenjgku Razali Hamzah has entered the picture, calling for an UMNO EGM...
Or is the next cabinet going to be one of those sleek avant garde ones? In other words, with lots of new, fresh faces that will give a new dimension to the cabinet. That said, there is the big question of one Khairy Jamaluddin. Is he going to be part of Team Lah 2008? And if so, in what capacity?
One thing's for sure, though - this time around, the new cabinet is going to face a formidable team of challengers in Parliament, unlike any other time in this country's history. And that, to Walski, sounds really exciting.
But that means it needs to be a Cabinet with real capability and dynamism. Definitely not the creaky antique kind of Cabinet, only good for storage (some would say cold storage), and perhaps some long-forgotten aesthetic value.
And then there's the question of size... is it gonna be lean and mean, or one of those bulky space-eaters?
Unlike furniture, which if you get tired of (or once you realize you've made a lousy choice) can be easily replaced with new ones (with the old ones handed down, or given away to charity), the ministerial kind's gotta be selected correctly, right from the get-go. Because ministerial damage control ain't nowhere as easy as rectifying mismatched furniture...
Well, truth be told, we can speculate till the cows come home - and will still probably not guess correctly. Ultimately, it's Pak Lah's decision, but one which Walski hopes will be made wisely. After all, it's only the nation at stake... at least for the next 4 - 5 years.
Oh, well... Walski's gotta get into the car pretty soon to start his 3-some hour journey for the lunch appointment. By the time lunch is over and done with, Malaysia will probably already have a new Cabinet announced... unless somebody decides to flip-flop... again... by which time, all the questions of size, style, and finishing of this new Cabinet will be made known to the nation. And the world.