See More on Facebook


Malaysia’s new Cabinet: who are they?

Less than two weeks after Pakatan Harapan toppled the coalition that had ruled Malaysia for more than 60 years, the country has a new Cabinet.

Written by

Updated: May 22, 2018

The 13 ministers named by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday were sworn in at Malaysia’s Istana Negara on Monday (May 21). The number of ministers will eventually be increased to 25. Here is a quick look at who has been appointed so far.

Minister of Women and Family Development – Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail

In addition to being the country’s first female deputy prime minister, Wan Azizah will also be taking on the role of minister of women and family development. The wife of recently released PKR leader Anwar is no stranger to Malaysia’s political scene, having served as a member of parliament since 1999. She is MP for Pandan in Malaysia’s richest state, Selangor.

Home Minister – Muhyiddin Yassin

Barisan Nasional-turned-Pakatan Harapan politician Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed home minister. A well-known face in Malaysian politics, he served as Member of Parliament for Pagoh, a town in the southern State of Johor and was also the state’s chief minister from 1986 to 1995. Muhyiddin was Deputy Prime Minister under Najib Razak but was dropped in a 2015 cabinet reshuffle shortly after publicly criticizing the then prime minister’s handling of the 1MDB scandal. He became president of Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) in 2016.

Minister of Rural Development – Rina Harun

Titiwangsa MP Rina Harun worked in Finance before making the jump to politics. Though she started her political career as a member of Umno and was formerly a Puteri Umno executive councillor, she eventually joined PPBM, and heads the party’s women’s wing.

Education Minister – Dr Maszlee Malik

A lecturer at the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia, Dr Maszlee Malik was appointed minister of education after Mahathir decided against taking the portfolio himself in accordance with one of the coalition’s election pledges. He is the Simpang Renggam MP, having won his seat in GE14 after joining PPBM in March.

Some have questioned Maszlee’s appointment as minister, expressing concern over his alleged support of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, according to The Star.

Minister of Housing and Local Government – Zuraida Kamaruddin

Currently serving her third term as Ampang MP, Zuraida Kamaruddin will be taking on the role of minister of Housing and Local Government.

She is the chief of PKR’s women’s branch.

Minister of Economic Affairs – Mohamed Azmin Ali

Mohamad Azmin will be relinquishing his coveted position as chief minister of Selangor in order to fulfil his new role heading the newly created ministry of economic affairs. He will give up his position once he has found a replacement.

The PKR deputy president is also MP for Gombak, Selangor.

Minister of Transport – Anthony Loke Siew Fook

Anthony Loke Siew Fook has been an MP for 10 years and has made reducing road fatalities and finally solving the MH370 mystery his priorities as Malaysia’s new minister of transport.

Minister of Finance – Lim Guan Eng

The son of DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng is the first Chinese Finance Minister Malaysia has seen in 44 years.

He is MP for Bagan, Penang and has been the state’s chief minister since 2008.

Lim is currently facing charges of corruption and is expected to be tried on July 30.

Minister of Communications and Multimedia – Gobind Singh Deo

Malaysia’s new minister of communications and multimedia is the country’s first Sikh minister. The son of prominent lawyer and politician Karpal Singh, he was first elected to parliament in the 2008 election and was re-elected in 2013 and 2018.

He has promised to scrap the controversial fake news bill rammed through Parliament ahead of the election.

Minister of Health – Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad

A medical scientist and former lecturer, Dzulkefly first entered parliament as a PAS candidate in 2008 when he successfully ran for the Kuala Selangor parliamentary seat. Though he lost the seat in the 2013 general election, he managed to reclaim it in the May 9 election – this time as a candidate from Amanah, the party in which he currently serves as strategic director.

Minister of Human Resource – Kulasegaran V Murugeson

First elected to parliament in 1997, Kulasegaran has been appointed minister of human resources.

The Ipoh MP served as the lawyer in the ground-breaking case of M. Indira Gandhi, whose children had been converted to Islam without her knowledge by her husband.

Minister of Defence – Mohamad Sabu

Mohamad Sabu has been part of the political scene for decades, starting out as a member of the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement in 1975. He joined Malaysia’s main Islamist party, PAS, in 1981 and eventually rose to become its deputy president. Mohamad was one of the moderate Islamist leaders booted from PAS during the June 6 party polls in 2015 after which he formed Amanah, one of the parties in the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry – Salahuddin Ayub

Mahathir has appointed the deputy president of Islamist party Amanah Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry. Initially a member of PAS, Salahuddin won the seat of Kubang Kerian in Kelantan in the 2004, but failed to win a seat in the 2013 election. He won both a parliamentary and state seat in the 2018 general election.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

Nadia Chevroulet
About the Author: Nadia is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


Beijing slams unrest and backs HK govt’s use of lawful means to tackle it

Protests have shut down Hong Kong for the past several days before a government crackdown. Beijing yesterday condemned the unrest that broke out in Hong Kong over the city’s extradition Bill as an organised riot, and said it supported the local government’s use of lawful means to resolve the situation. Asked if the central government supported the use of rubber bullets and tear gas on protesters on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong was against any act that undermines the city’s prosperity and stability. “Any civilised and lawful society will not tolerate the destruction of peace and tranquillity,” he said. “The Chinese central government strongly condemns all types of violence and supports the Hong Kong government to handle the matter according to the law.” Chinese state media

By The Straits Times
June 14, 2019


Taiwan expresses support, solidarity with Hong Kong

Taiwan advocacy groups call for retaliation against Hong Kong extradition bill. Dozens of civic groups in Taiwan called on the government on June 11 to adopt concrete regulations in response to Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill, suggesting tighter controls on investments from Hong Kong and visits by its civil servants, for example. In a statement issued ahead of the expected second reading of the bill Wednesday, the groups urged the Taiwan government to submit a countermeasure proposal to the Legislative Yuan during its extraordinary session on June 17. The Taiwan government should also issue a statement, asking the Hong Kong government to halt its review of the bill, which could put the personal freedom of Taiwanese nationals at risk, as it would allow the Hong Kong government to send suspects to China for trial, the groups said. Despite fierce opposition by an est

By ANN Members
June 13, 2019


China blames ‘lawlessness’ for Hong Kong

Lawlessness undermining rule of law in Hong Kong, says China Daily editorial. The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has explained many times the proposed amendments to Hong Kong’s fugitive law are meant to better protect Hong Kong society by plugging the loopholes in the existing laws in order to enhance the rule of law. Rather than pushing through a bill against the wishes of Hong Kong society as some have tried to portray, the government has made changes to the proposed bill more than once in response to concerns expressed in the community. As a result, most of the members of Legislative Council of the special administrative region, who are accountable to their voters, now support the amendments. Nor is it a hasty or unnecessary move. Indeed the need for an extradition agreement with the mainland was acknowledged by government officials and legal experts ahead of H

By China Daily
June 13, 2019


Hong Kong protests turn violent

At least 72 people taken to hospital during clashes with police. At least 72 people were injured and taken to hospital during clashes between police and protesters on Wednesday (June 12) over a contentious extradition Bill, said Hong Kong authorities. By night time, police officers were still in a stand-off with protesters on Queensway, not far from Admiralty Station, even though most of the protestors had dispersed following the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. Earlier, police fired rubber bullets at protesters after they declared a “riot” as – for the second time in days – clashes broke out between police and protesters demonstrating against the controversial extradition Bill.

By The Straits Times
June 13, 2019


Nepal Prime Minister’s speech in UK is filled with irony

Nepal’s prime minister celebrated democratic freedoms in his UK speech but it contradicts what he’s doing at home. While Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Monday speech at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom valorised the importance of freedoms, rights and democracy, back home, his government has been criticised for what many see as an authoritarian turn, stifling freedom of speech and steadily encroaching on human rights. In his speech at the Oxford Union, Oli said that as someone who had spent over five decades fighting for democratic rights, and as a result, been imprisoned for 14 years, including four years in solitary confinement, he knew “how important access to education and freedom of speech are for people and society to grow, deve

By The Kathmandu Post
June 12, 2019


Hong Kong leader defiant despite protest over extradition bill.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says extradition Bill has to be passed as opponents call for fresh protests. A day after what organisers touted as an unprecedented protest with a record one million people taking to the streets to protest against proposed changes to an extradition Bill, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has shown no signs of backing down even as opponents called for fresh protests. Mrs Lam told the media late in the morning on Monday (June 10) that the proposed amendments to the Bill that will go through a second reading on Wednesday (June 12), “will help to uphold justice”. She noted that the intense discussions over the last four months since the idea was mooted in early February “is quite unprecedented”.

By The Straits Times
June 11, 2019