PUTRAJAYA: Describing his Cabinet as one that aims to fulfil the aspirations of the people, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has made some surprising selections in his line-up of ministers.
In an unconventional appointment, the Prime Minister named Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, group chief executive officer of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd as Finance Minister.
This portfolio, seen as one of the most senior Cabinet posts, has usually been held by the prime minister over the last two decades.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the Finance Minister when he served as the fourth prime minister and so were Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak when they headed the government.
Muhyiddin also appointed Federal Territories mufti Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamed Al-Bakri as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs.Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, who has been away from mainstream politics for many years, was made Health Minister. His last government post was parliamentary secretary of the Higher Education Ministry during Abdullah’s administration.
Muhyiddin also promoted several former deputy ministers in both the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan administrations to full ministers. Among them are Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique (National Unity), Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (Youth and Sports) and Datuk Alexander Nanti Linggi (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs).
The others include Datuk Dr Latiff Ahmad (Rural Development), Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (Education), Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad (Higher Education) and Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (Human Resources).
Universiti Malaya’s Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said the new Cabinet members must prove that they are able to bring about more improvements than the previous government. These included accelerating economic growth, creating more economic opportunities, addressing unemployment and increasing national revenue.
“The introduction of technocrats isn’t something new. The previous government had done the same thing in order to ensure efficiency and competency, and to avoid preoccupation with politics.
“With this, there will be more focus in improving the performance of the government, ” he said.
Muhyiddin, in unveiling his Cabinet, said the people were facing uncertainties and were hoping that the government will find solutions to issues that were burdening them.
“Therefore, it is my responsibility as Prime Minister to form a Cabinet that can solve the rakyat’s woes and, at the same time, propel the country towards greater success, ” he said.
He said those appointed as ministers and deputy ministers have been vetted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police. He added that he would ensure that his Cabinet is a “functional Cabinet” that can be more focused in serving the country.
The Prime Minister called on the appointees to carry out their duties responsibly and with excellence.
“I pray that Allah will guide me and my Cabinet to carry out our responsibilities with honesty and integrity, ” he said.
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