PUTRAJAYA: The nation's first woman Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa is open to help offered by her predecessors.
"I am very open to any help in terms of their views and proposals on matters which they had previously done and policies which they had come out with.
"But as usual, as a newly appointed minister, I will get a briefing from my officers to see which are the policies that we can utilise, improve on or even reject," she told reporters after clocking at 8.30am for her first day of work at her office in the Health Ministry in Putrajaya on Monday (Dec 5).
Dr Zaliha, who is also who is also Sekijang MP, said she was fully aware of the importance of her ministry in the eyes of the general public.
"At the end of the day, what we want is the best for the people and I am aware that this ministry gets the attention of the public attention because health is a basic need of the people," she said.
Dr Zaliha said that her previous experience as political secretary to former Women, Family and Community Development Minister
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would help her in her work as a minister.
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In a tweet Saturday (Dec 3), Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, who is also the Kuala Selangor MP, said his predecessor Khairy Jamaluddin had contacted him via WhatsApp to express his disappointment that he was overlooked for the post.
"No qualms not in Cabinet, so long l could help get Health Reform done," he wrote in his post.
Tagging Khairy in his tweet, Dr Dzulkefly said Khairy had messaged him to say he had wanted Dzulkefly back as the health minister.
Dr Dzulkefly said he replied that he was a perpetual optimist.
Khairy then stated his intention of working together with Dr Dzulkefly to help guide the new Health Minister.
"I said, yes!" Dr Dzulkefly said to Khairy’s proposal to help Dr Zaliha.
Asked on how she felt about being the nation's first woman health minister, Dr Zaliha said that she was glad and excited at being given the opportunity to serve, particularly on giving due attention to women and children issues.
"I have already started started getting calls from women doctors telling me these are the things I should do," she quipped.
She added that she would also work closely with non-governmental organisations to get feedback on relevant issues.