Thursday, April 9, 2009
Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak
6 days after being sworn in as Malaysia's 6th Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul today announced the new cabinet lineup.
It consists of 28 Full Ministers and 40 Deputy Ministers.
8 ministers were dropped and 7 new faces appointed.
Najib himself is in charge of the powerful Finance Ministry.
UMNO Deputy President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is the new Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia as well as Education Minister.
The cabinet comprises of new and old faces from 13 Barisan Nasional. BN component parties, with the majority of them from UMNO, the largest party in the Barisan Nasional, BN coalition.
2 new Ministries are being created - Energy, Green Technology and Water headed by Sarawakian Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui and Information, Communication, Arts and Culture headed by Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim - formerly Foreign Minister.
The new cabinet also includes 2 totally unknown and non political figures, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin as Federal Territory Minister and Mejar General (retired) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom as Minister in the Prime Minister Department in charge of Islamic Affairs.
GERAKAN President and former Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon is also in the lineup as Minister in the Prime Minister Department in charge of Unity and Performance Monitoring Management.
Also making a comeback - newly elected UMNO Women Chief, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil - appointed to her old Ministry - the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.
However 2 BN Components Party Presidents - MIC President and veteran politician Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu as well as People Progressive Party President, Datuk M. Kayveas are not in the cabinet list.
Controversial Minister - Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz also kept his post as Minister in the Prime Minister Department in charge of Parliament.
3 Newly elected UMNO Vice Presidents are promoted to 3 powerful Ministries.
They are Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein (son of Malaysia's 3rd Prime Minister the late Tun Hussein Onn) as Home Minister and Datuk Shafie Afdal as Minister of Rural and Regional Development.
MCA President, Datuk Ong Tee Keat retained the traditional MCA portfolio as Transport Minister.
MCA also gets its 2 other traditional ministries - Datuk Liow Tiong Lai as Health Minister and Datuk Kong Cho Ha as Minister of Local Government and Housing.
MCA women leader Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen is appointed Tourism Minister.
6 full ministers, are from Sabah and Sarawak - the so called "the last bastion of Barisan Nasional".
One of them is a brand new face, Kimanis Member of Parliament, Datuk Anifah Aman as Foreign Affairs Minister.
In last year's cabinet line-up announced by the then Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Anifah created controversy when he shockingly refused his appointment as Deputy Transport Minister.
However the biggest surprise is the exclusion of Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy - the Member of Parliament for Rembau and also the newly elected UMNO Youth Chief is not in the cabinet list.
Traditionally, the UMNO Youth Chief is automatically appointed a Full Minister or a Deputy Minister.
Instead, Khairy's no 2, the UMNO Youth Deputy Chief, Datuk Razali Ibrahim is appointed Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports.
To add salt to the wound, Khairy's challenger who lost for the post of UMNO Youth Chief in the recent UMNO General Assembly, Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir gets himself appointed as Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry.
For the record, Khairy is the son in law of former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who stepped down recently on 3rd April 2009.
Datuk Mukhriz is the son of the longest serving Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who retired in 31st October 2003.
Local political observers believe Khairy's non inclusion in the Cabinet line-up is due to the factor that he was found guilty of money politics by the UMNO Disciplinary Board in the eve of the recent UMNO General Assembly.
Despite being found guilty, Khairy was allowed to contest and subsequently won the hotly contested 3 cornered fight for the post of UMNO Youth Head.
Therefore, his Public Relations Profile is dented for now.
And Najib was also seen as sending a strong signal to the people, that he want fresh and good public relations profile leaders in his cabinet lineup.
8 ministers in the old cabinet line-up were dropped.
They are Regional and Rural Development Minister, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, Tourism Minister - Datuk Azalina Othman Said, Federal Territory Minister - Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique, Works Minister - Datuk Mohamed Zin Mohamed, Home Minister - Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Local Government and Housing Minister - Datuk Ong Ka Chuan, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad (one of the longest serving Member of Parliament)and Minister in the Prime Minister Department, Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz.
After Najib made the announcement on the new cabinet lineup which was carried live on National TV as well as every other local pivate TV stations, he invited the Malaysian Media Heads, as well as influential alternative medias for an hour long briefing.
President of the National Press Club cum Protem President of the National Alliance of Bloggers (All-Blogs) cum former Malay Mail editor cum Malaysia's no. 1 blogger, Rocky's Bru aka Ahirudin Attan - attended the briefing.
This is Rocky's Bru entry in his blog on that briefing.
Najib's Cabinet: "Amanah besar yang mesti digalas"
Blogger on the 5th Floor. I was invited to attend Najib Razak's hour-long briefing for the media after he'd announced his new Cabinet. The briefing took place on the 5th floor, which has been the office of the Prime Minister since Dr Mahathir Mohamad moved the Sri Perdana from KL to Putrajaya in 2003. The last time I was there was late 03 for a briefing by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who had just succeeded Dr M. I was then the editor of the Malay Mail. This afternoon at 3.30 I was at the PM's briefing as a blogger.
Hanafiah Man represented Agenda Daily, the news portal. The rest were MSM: The Star editor-in-chief Wong Chun Wai, Sin Chew Daily editor-in-chief Pook Ah Lek, RTM director-general Ibrahim "Tiger", Berita Harian group editor Manja Ismail, Utusan Malaysia, editor-in-chief Aziz Ishak, TV3 chief news editor Wee Yo Lee, Bernama deputy editor-in-chief Zulkefli Salleh, NSTP group editor-in-chief Hishamudin Aun, and Nanyang editor-in-chief Ching Tien Siong.
"People's Cabinet". Najib stressed that his Cabinet was a "People's Cabinet", a Cabinet of ministers and deputy ministers if integrity who can work and produce results. To get the desired outcome, there will be a Key Performance Index (KPI) for the ministers and they will be assessed every six months. Najib said those who do not perform could be flashed the "yellow" card (in football, yellow means a stern warning; a second "yellow" card means expulsion from the field).
I asked him what would be his message to his ministers and deputy ministers. "I want people to have faith and confidence in the new Cabinet". He will remind them that Cabinet posts are a responsibility, a huge burden on their shoulders. "Ini amanah besar yang mesti digalas".
Those who were dropped (Syed Hamid Albar, Azalina Osman, Mike Tyson and Zulhasnan Rafique), does it mean they lacked integrity? "No, it does not mean that. There are other factors. Every one of them accepted (the decision) in good faith. Shahril, especially, was very sporting".
Mukhriz in, Khairy out? "We will help Khairy reorganize Umno Youth," Najib said.
He explained why Information Ministry has been expanded ("to give more teeth to the ministry, otherwise the Information Minister is, with all due respect, not more than a Minister of RTM"). Rais Yatim is the new minister and Najib said he's the right man, especially to deal with the New Media, "which like someone frank, someone with his own mind, and who is open to dissenting views".
Media freedom? "I will give latitude to the media. You can criticize but with responsibility. I'd rather be criticized by the media than be rejected by the people."
Sports and Youth will be stressed. "That's why I put (those) who can approach out youths in that ministry.". New Foreign Minister Anifah Aman "can sell Malaysia well overseas". Najib said he has seen Anifah in action and is impressed with the Sabahan.
Blogging ministers. I could not resist asking the PM if he's going to make everyone in the new Cabinet start a blog. After all, he was bragging earlier on about the hits his blog has been getting (1.5 million hits for the Chinese edition, with "visitors" coming from Hong Kong and Taiwan, even). I said most of the Pakatan politicians are blogging but very few from the BN are doing so.
"Oh, yes, I will encourage them to have blogs," he said.
And the word is out: No red carpets, minimise rituals, less formality. No pictures of the PM, DPM and ministers on billboards.
FULL LIST OF MALAYSIA'S NEW CABINET LINE-UP (ANNOUNCED 9 APRIL 2009)
Prime Minister and Finance Minister 1: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Deputy PM and Education Minister: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Ministers in Prime Minister’s Department
Unity and Performance Management: Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon
Law and Parliament: Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz
Religious Affairs: Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharum
Economic Planning Unit: Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop
Deputies: Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Senator Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim, Datuk SK Devamany, Ahmad Maslan, Senator T. Murugiah
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Finance Minister II: Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah
Deputies: Datuk Chor Chee Heung, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputies: Datuk Wee Ka Siong, Datuk Puad Zarkashi
Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat
Deputies: Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, Datuk Robert Lau
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein
Deputies: Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop, Jelaing Mersat
Information, Communications, Arts and Culture
Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
Deputies: Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, Senator Heng Seai Kie
Energy, Green Technology & Water
Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui
Deputy: Noriah Kasnon
Plantation Industries and Commodities
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
Deputy: Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin
Rural and Regional Development
Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal
Deputies: Datuk Hassan Malek, Datuk Joseph Entulu
Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin
Deputies: Dr Hou Kok Chung, Saifuddin Abdullah
International Trade and Industry
Datuk Mustapa Mohamed
Deputies: Datuk Muhkriz Mahathir, Datuk Jacob Dungau
Science, Technology and Innovation
Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili
Deputy: Fadillah Yusof
Natural Resources and Environment
Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas
Deputy: Tan Sri Joseph Kurup
Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen
Deputy: Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib
Agriculture and Agro-based Industries
Datuk Noh Omar
Deputies: Johari Baharum, Rohani Abdul Karim
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Deputy: Datuk Dr Abdul Latif
Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor
Deputy: Datuk Yong Khoon Seng
Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai
Deputy: Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shilin
Youth and Sports
Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Deputies: Datuk Razali Ibrahim, Wee Jeck Seng
Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam
Deputy: Datuk Maznah Mazlan
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri
Deputy: Datuk Tan Lian Hoe
Housing and Local Government
Datuk Kong Cho Ha
Deputy: Lajim Ukin
Women, Family and Community Development
Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
Deputy: Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun
Datuk Anifah Aman
Deputies: Datuk Lee Chee Leong, Senator A. Kohilan Pillai
Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin
Deputy: Datuk M. Saravanan