PUTRAJAYA: Twenty-seven deputy ministers are expected to take their oaths at the Istana Negara today after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced the list of deputies who will be part of his administration.
“The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 3pm at Istana Negara,” he said at the Prime Minister’s office last night.
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Reflective of the unity government he leads, the list comprised of representatives from Pakatan Harapan, Barisan Nasional, GPS, and allies from Sabah.
The Finance Ministry will get two deputy ministers – Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan representing Barisan Nasional, and Steven Sim from Pakatan Harapan.
Ahmad, who previously served as deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Finance, and International Trade under Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration will return to the Finance Ministry for a second stint.
Sim, on the other hand, was the deputy Youth and Sports Minister in the Pakatan Harapan government led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.Besides, Sim and Ahmad, others who had served as deputy ministers in previous governments include Liew Chin Tong (International Trade and Industry), Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib (Economy), Fuziah Salleh (Domestic Trade and Cost of Living), Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup (Science and Technology), Teo Nie Ching (Communications and Digital).
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The list also featured new faces such as Adly Zahari (Defence), Ramkarpal Singh (Law and Institutional Reforms, a portfolio under the Prime Minister’s Department), Aiman Athirah Sabu (Women, Family, and Community Development), Adam Adli Abd Halim (Youth and Sports), Akmal Nasrullah Nasir (Local Government Development), Chan Foong Hin (Agriculture and Food Security), and Saraswathi Kandasamy (Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development), among others.
Former Energy and Natural Resources minister Shamsul Anuar Nasarah will serve as deputy Home Minister in Anwar’s government.
Also on the list were Datuk Rubiah Wang (Rural and Regional Development), Datuk Siti Aminah Aching (Plantation and Commodities), Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad (Works), Lukanisman Awang Sauni (Health), Datuk Hasbi Habibollah (Transport), Datuk Mohammad Yusof Apdal (Higher Education), Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii (Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change), Datuk Mohamad Alamin (Foreign Affairs), Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan (Tourism, Arts and Culture), Mustapha @ Mohd Yunus Sakmud (Human Resources), and Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong (Prime Minister’s Department).
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On Dec 2, Anwar unveiled a slightly smaller Cabinet than that of his predecessor – naming two Deputy Prime Ministers and 25 ministers.
The Prime Minister will also serve as the Finance Minister, a post he previously held from 1991 until his sacking in 1998.
On the status of the secretaries-general of ministries which have been merged, Anwar said the Chief Secretary to the Government will do the needful and make the necessary announcements.
“It is a matter of administration. The Chief Secretary to the Government (Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali) will make the announcement,” he said when asked to comment on the status of the various secretaries-general.
The Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change are among the ministries which have been merged.
On the status of Treasury secretary-general Datuk Seri Asri Hamidin, who is reportedly on leave, Anwar said it was just a normal administrative matter, unlike what was reported.
“It is a normal change and not as what was reported in the media,” he said briefly.
Asri was absent when Anwar clocked in for the first time at the Finance Ministry earlier this week.
Reports have emerged that Asri, who was appointed to the role in May 2020, may soon be replaced.