Well finally it materialise. Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi today announced his much awaited Cabinet re-shuffle. Was it a surprise? Yes to some but not so to me.
Apart from Kadir Sheikh Fadzir (see my earlier posting), another leader who failed to retain his UMNO supreme council seat, Higher Education Minister Dr Shafie Salleh was dropped. He was replaced by Minister In The Prime Minister's Department, Mustapha Mohamed. Mustapa's portfolio (economic affairs) is now in the hands of Affendy Norwawi, the former agriculture minister. His Sarawak colleague Adenan Satem is also dropped to pave the way for him to play a more important role in Sarawak state politics. He is tipped to be the next Chief Minister of Sarawak. Home Affairs Minister Azmi Khalid takes over Adenan's portfolio while Radzi Sheikh Ahmad moves from PM's Department to Home Affairs.
Tengku Adnan Mansor has return to the Cabinet as Tourism Minister in place of Leo Michael Toyad who was dropped. Another UMNO leader from the Federal Territory, Zulhasnan Rafique is promoted as minister in the Federal Territory Ministry while deputy information minister, Zainuddin Mydin moves up to full minister in the same ministry.
The surprise..well Pak Lah decided to retain Rafidah Aziz saying that he needs her expertise and experience to lead Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
The announcement finally put a stop to speculations and rumours being circulated by UMNO members and the press.
As stated in my earlier posting, Pak Lah has his own style and it is not easy to read his moves. May Allah gives him strength and courage to lead the nation.