Teng said Pakatan questioned why Pakatan is making a big fuss over announcing its shadow cabinet (Graphic by: Dayang Norazhar/The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR : Pakatan Rakyat leaders were told that it is for them to reveal their shadow cabinet and not the ruling party's.
Speaking to The Mole, Penang Barisan Nasional chief Teng Chang Yeow said: "In the Westminster style of democracy, it is the opposition that forms the shadow cabinet and they do so to show to the voters how serious they are in forming their own government if they emerge as the winners in the next general election."
The Gerakan secretary general was commenting on the remarks made by DAP national deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw who said Pakatan Rakyat will reveal their shadow cabinet only after BN had revealed theirs.
Dr Tan on Thursday said Pakatan had their own strategy on the shadow cabinet issue but it would be too premature for them to announce it, saying the calls to form a shadow cabinet was just another attempt by BN to create trouble to the opposition coalition.
He added: “We have our plan and strategy on this matter. If we don’t have any idea on setting up a government, we will not even be in politics.”
Teng said it is surprising for Pakatan leaders who have been in politics long enough to ask the ruling government to reveal their ministerial line-up before they announce their shadow cabinet.
"I do not understand what is the big fuss, especially when the opposition coalition have been talking for quite some time about replacing the current government in the next general election."
Teng said according to the Westminster system, the shadow cabinet should mirror the existing cabinet in which the positions are maintained and they (the opposition) need to only fill up the names of their candidates.
“Pakatan have been heaping praises of the Westminster system in politics and democracy, so why the big fuss in announcing their shadow cabinet? It is a normal practice for the opposition party which follow the system to do so,” Teng said.
Teng also said the shadow cabinet concept is also vital for people to make an evaluation and check-and-balance in deciding which government is worth voting for.
He added nothing is stopping Pakatan from having their shadow cabinet as the situation is different now, where major opposition parties are united in a coalition.
“Unlike in the past, DAP and Pas were not united in their policies, but now both parties along with PKR, (Pakatan) have shared policies and systems that is ready for them if they become the government.”
Teng added, “if they can decide Datuk Seri Anwar (Ibrahim) as their Prime Minister, why can’t they let us know who their cabinet ministers are?”
According to Neohumanism, shadow cabinet is a group of senior opposition representatives in the Westminster System who together under the opposition leader (or the leader of other smaller opposition parties) form an alternative cabinet to the government's.
Previously a blog post at Kepal Nasi Kepal Beras stated if Pakatan fails to be clear about its own shadow cabinet, it is a big sign that the opposition is not fit to form a government under Malaysia’s complex situation where all races, religions and ethnicities is taken into consideration.
On May 20 Finance Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin had reportedly urged opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to name his shadow cabinet this month in order to show transparency.
Another post at Sarawak Update had also stated Pakatan had been trying to show to the public that the coalition is compact and well knitted but in reality it is the other way around as it still fails to to form the shadow cabinet.