It is believed that Malaysians suffer from the 13GE post traumatic stress disorder. The extra ordinary long intense politicking, events, drama and demonstration and decisions made and leading up to the polling and campaign period preceding to the 13GE left so many quarters burnt out. Some are appalled and angered with the results and the outcome there on.
Needless to say, the business of moving the nation forward takes paramount priority. Yesterday evening, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak announced his first mandated Cabinet.
Thursday May 16, 2013
A well-balanced Cabinet of 32 ministers
By JOSEPH SIPALAN
PUTRAJAYA: A mix of new and old faces are set to help chart the country’s future over the next five years as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak unveiled his Cabinet line-up nearly two weeks after the 13th General Election.
Describing it as a “balanced Cabinet”, Najib’s line-up will have a total of 32 ministers and 26 deputy ministers. In the last Cabinet, there were 30 ministers and 36 deputy ministers.
“This is a balanced Cabinet, that includes those with experience, technocrats and youths.
“I believe those with experience will contribute to continuity, while the technocrats will contribute through their specific expertise which is very important in providing creative and rational ideas for the Government to consider.
“The youths, aside from their skills, will also be able to bring the perspective of youths to the Government’s attention,” Najib said when unveiling his Cabinet.Major reshuffle: Najib with his deputy Muhyiddin by his side (second right) announcing the appointment of the new Cabinet ministers in Putrajaya.
Among the notable new faces are former Terengganu Mentri BesarDatuk Seri Idris Jusoh, who is now Education and Higher Education Minister II; Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who is now Youth and Sports Minister; Umno and Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as Federal Territories Minister; and Umno’s Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan as Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Govern-ment Minister.
From outside the political spectrum, Najib appointed Transparency International president Datuk Paul Low, Hindraf chairman P. Waytha Moorthy and Maybank president and chief executive Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar as Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department.
The Cabinet also sees a fair bit of reshuffling in portfolios, with Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin heading what will now be called the Education and Higher Learning Ministry with the merger of the Education and Higher Education ministries.
Umno vice-presidents Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein andDatuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi meanwhile have swapped portfolios, with Hishammuddin now helming the Defence Ministry and Ahmad Zahid serving as Home Minister.
Hishammuddin will also serve as acting Transport Minister in what Najib described as a temporary move to keep a position vacant for MCA – if the party is able to overturn its resolution not to take any Cabinet posts following its poor performance in the recently concluded polls.
It was an expected surprise and invited all sorts of responses and comments. 12 Cabinet posts were allocated to Sabah and Sarawak MPs, for their aggregated 47 seats contribution to BN in the 133 seats controlled Dewan Rakyat.
What was a surprise is the two Cabinet Ministers allocated to Johor MPs (not including the Deputy Prime Minister) despite the state’s 21 MPs contribution to BN’s Federal Government, compared to Perak’s (for 12 MPs) and Terengganu’s (for only four MPs) equal two. Kedah, which contributed 10 MPs and saw the return of the state government back to BN was only allocated with one Minister.
No Ministers are appointed to represent the rakyat of Selangor and Melaka.
Many laud the appointment of new generation UMNO leaders and first timers such as UMNO Youth Leader Khairy Jamaluddin and former UMNO Youth Secretary as Cabinet Ministers Abdul Rahman Dahlan and former MIC Information Chief P Kamalanathan as Deputy Minister. Khairy’s appointment also earned the accolades of Opposition leaders such as PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali and DAP Strategist Tony Pua.
Appointments of technocrats like Maybank President and CEO Dato’ Seri Abdul Wahid Omar and Tranparency International Paul Low also brought new confidence in getting some serious business done. It is unsure whether or not Wahid would be playing the role vacated by Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop.
A relief of sigh for some of names being omitted from the Cabinet like Dato’ Seri Noh Omar and Dato’ Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis.
However, that cannot be said of the appointment of some who should have been perceived as ‘has beens’ such as Dato’ Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor and Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz as Cabinet Ministers and Dato’ Tajudin Abdul Rahman as Deputy Minister.
What surprised many is the appointment of HINDRAF leader P Wathyamoorthy as Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department. He was a personality considered as an ‘obnoxious’. The fact that a Hindu chauvinist and one time rebel rouser like Wathya is appointed but no post offered to pro right wing and nationalist PERKASA doesnt strike the ‘balance’, although Prime Minister Najib is his opening remark claimed that this new team is a ‘Balanced Cabinet’.
Then again, that is not as surprising as the rumour of Prime Minister Najib appointing Jamaluddin as Special Adviser to the Prime Minister with ministerial status. If this turns out to be true, than many would doubt some of how the Prime Minister’s ‘Transformation Plan’ be rolled out considering that there was a ‘systemic faliure’ in the BN’s 13GE game and JJ is being said as one of the key players in the defective strategy and catestrophic tactical operations.
Expect more sufferers of PTSD would be diagnosed. Naturally, the reaction.
*Updated Friday 17 May 2013 0145hrs