PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced his new administration on Tuesday, trimming his Cabinet from 32 to 27 seats, of which more than half featured new faces.
"I hope they will perform better than before and I believe that with the choice we have made we will be able to fulfil our agenda," he said.
"I would like to tell you that this term we would go into vigorous implementation of our policies and projects. I have heard many times, and read many articles and comments by the people who said Pak Lah (Abdullah) has worked out the policies well but is short on implementation," he told a packed press conference at his office.
Abdullah, who retained his Finance portfolio, scrapped the post of parliamentary secretary.
He did not retain big names such as Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz (former International Trade and Industry Minister), Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid (former Natural Resources and Environment Minister), Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad (former Home Affairs Minister), Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis (former Science, Technology and Innovation Minister) and Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor (former Tourism Minister).
MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting (former Housing and Local Government Minister) asked not to be reappointed so that he could focus his energies on rebuilding the MCA after its disappointing performance in the election.
Abdullah also merged the Home Affairs and Internal Security ministries, saying that they had many overlapping functions, and named former Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar as its minister.
"I am still surprised with the post although I was sure I will move from the Foreign Ministry," Syed Hamid said.
"I have to learn fast to regain public confidence in security related matters. Judging from the election results, Malaysians expect some things to be done," he said.
In the 12th general election on March 8, the Barisan Nasional saw its two-thirds majority in the 222-seat Parliament pared down to a simple majority, lost control of four states including industrial centres such as Selangor and Penang, and failed to wrest Kelantan back from PAS.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin, formerly Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister, said he was looking forward to the challenges of his new portfolio.
"I know the challenges in this ministry are very big and the expectations of the rakyat are very high, particularly in trying to make Malaysia the centre of excellence for higher education.
"What I know is that the work is going to be very different from the ministry I was heading before, but I will reserve my plans for the ministry until I have been briefed by the ministry staff," said the Pasir Gudang MP.
Khaled took over the portfolio from Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, who is now the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister.
Abdullah also appointed two corporate figures, who will be sworn in as senators later Tuesday, as ministers in the Prime Minister's Department.
They are lawyer Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, the former MP of Kota Baru who was not chosen to contest in the recent general election, and Maybank chief executive officer Datuk Amirsham A. Aziz.
In KOTA KINABALU, Liberal Democratic Party president Datuk Liew Vui Keong described the new Cabinet as a "dedicated team."
Liew, appointed Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, said the people in the east coast district of Sandakan were very fortunate as they had a Chief Minister, a Deputy Chief Minister and a state cabinet minister representing them with him at the federal level.
Other new deputy ministers from Sabah in Abdullah’s line up are Kalabakan Umno MP Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh who was a deputy chief minister until 1999 when he resigned and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the Pensiangan MP.
The fourth Sabahan was veteran Datuk Anifah Aman, the Umno MP for Kimanis, who was moved from the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry to the Transport Ministry.
The three ministers from Sabah were United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Organisation (Upko) president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Parti Bersatu Sabah deputy president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili and Sabah Umno deputy liaison chief Datuk Shafie Apdal.
Dompok, the Penampang MP, was retained in the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department portfolio.
Dr Maximus, the MP for Kota Marudu, was moved from the Prime Minister’s Department to the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.
Shafie, the Umno Semporna MP, was transferred from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage.
The full list:
Prime MinisterDatuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Deputy Prime MinisterDatuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Ministers in the Prime Minister's DepartmentTan Sri Bernard DompokDatuk Seri Nazri AzizDatuk Dr Ahmad Zahid HamidiDatuk Mohd Zaid IbrahimDatuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz
Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister's DepartmentDatuk Johari BaharomDatuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim K. DevamanyDatuk Hasan Malek
FinanceMinister - Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad BadawiSecond Finance Minister - Tan Sri Nor Mohamed YakcopDeputies - Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Datuk Kong Cho Ha
DefenceMinister - Datuk Seri Najib Tun RazakDeputy - Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop
Internal Security and Home AffairsMinister - Datuk Seri Syed Hamid AlbarDeputies - Datuk Chor Chee Heung, Senator Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh
Housing and Local GovernmentMinister - Datuk Ong Ka ChuanDeputies - Datuk Robert Lau, Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin
Works MinisterMinister - Datuk Mohd Zin MohamadDeputy - Datuk Yong Khoon Seng
Energy, Water and CommunicationsMinister - Datuk Shaziman Abu MansorDeputy - Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum
Agriculture and Agro-based IndustryMinister - Datuk Mustapa MohamedDeputy - Datin Paduka Rohani Abdul Karim
International Trade and IndustryMinister - Tan Sri Muhyiddin YassinDeputies - Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan
Foreign AffairsMinister - Datuk Seri Dr Rais YatimDeputy - Datuk Seri Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar
EducationMinister - Datuk Seri Hishammuddin HusseinDeputies - Datuk Wee Ka Siong, Datuk Razali Ismail
Higher EducationMinister - Datuk Khaled NordinDeputies - Dr Hou Kok Chung, Datuk Idris Harun
TransportMinister - Datuk Ong Tee KeatDeputy - Datuk Anifah Aman
Human ResourcesMinister - Datuk Dr S. SubramaniamDeputy - Datuk Noraini Ahmad
Women, Family and Community DevelopmentMinister - Datuk Dr Ng Yen YenDeputy - Noriah Kasnon
National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister - Datuk Shafie ApdalDeputy - Datuk Teng Boon Soon
Science, Technology and InnovationMinister - Datuk Dr Maximus OngkiliDeputy - Fadilah Yusof
Entrepreneurial and Cooperative DevelopmentMinister - Datuk Noh OmarDeputy - Datuk Saiffuddin Abdullah
Natural Resources and EnvironmentMinister - Datuk Douglas Unggah EmbasDeputy - Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh
Rural and Regional DevelopmentMinister - Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd TaibDeputy - Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Joseph Entulu Belaun
Domestic Trade and Consumer AffairsMinister - Datuk Shahrir SamadDeputy - Jelaing Mersat
Plantation Industries and CommoditiesMinister - Datuk Peter Chin Fah KuiDeputy - Senator A. Kohilan
Youth and SportsMinister - Datuk Ismail Sabri YaacobDeputy - Wee Jeck Seng
HealthMinister - Datuk Liow Tiong LaiDeputy - Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad
InformationMinister - Datuk Ahmad Shabery CheekDeputy - Datuk Tan Lian Hoe
TourismMinister - Datuk Seri Azalina OthmanDeputy - Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib
Federal TerritoriesMinister - Datuk Seri Zulhasnan RafiqueDeputy - Datuk M. Saravanan