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


Maldives strongman Abdulla Yameen in shock election defeat

The Maldivian election was watched closely as an indicator of China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region. Maldives strongman Abdulla Yameen’s hopes for a second presidential term were dashed on September 24 with opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih defeating him in the country’s elections. After a months-long sweeping crackdown on the opposition and a brief state of emergency imposed by the autocratic Yameen, the election on September 23 was preceded by a bitter campaign during which opposition leaders frequently accused the ruling regime of rights abuses and oppression. Several independent news websites reported that after the counting of a majority of the votes, Solih had won more than 58 per cent of the votes to 41 per cent for Yameen. Hours after the emergence of the informal results, Yameen conceded defeat to Solih during a televised news conference, saying: “Mal

By Lamat R Hasan
September 25, 2018


Abe wins 3rd term as president of ruling LDP

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was reelected president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for a third consecutive term on Thursday. “I will put all my strength and soul into fulfilling my duty,” Abe said after his victory. A total of 810 votes were cast in the LDP presidential poll, half by Diet lawmakers and half by rank-and-file party members. After securing the support of five LDP factions, led respectively by Hiroyuki Hosoda, Taro Aso, Fumio Kishida, Toshihiro Nikai and Nobuteru Ishihara, Abe won 329 of the 405 votes from LDP lawmakers, against 73 votes for Ishiba. Voting from rank-and-file party members closed on Wednesday. Abe won 224 votes of the 405 votes available from rank-and-file party members, while Ishiba won 181. At a press conference later on the same day, Abe said he intends to reshu

By The Japan News
September 21, 2018


A land with no smiles

The Thai middle class’ Faustian bargain with the military is hampering true democracy in the country. Almost ten years ago, I met a protester on the streets of Bangkok. It was a time of protest and political instability with the drama between the government and protesters spilling out onto the streets. To protect his identity against possible military reprisal, let us call him Nadech. Nadech will unlikely be recorded in history books, he was not a political leader, nor a despotic general or any other archetype of Thai history. He was a simple junk-store hawker, an occupation that involves going from house to house and sorting garbage to sell. His family had done well enough through grit and hard work to open a small convenience store in his home province. Nadech had taken to the streets in 2010 because he had believed the promises that exiled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had made and had seen, fi

By Cod Satrusayang
September 21, 2018


New airport construction adds to China’s influence in the Maldives

Maldives airport opened a new runway constructed by China this week, a sign of Beijing’s growing influence on the island nation. Maldives airport opened its newly developed Code F runway at the Velana International Airport on Tuesday after two years of construction by Chinese firms. According to Chinese state media, the new runway is a milestone project of the Belt and Road Initiative. The contract for the airport expansion, including the development of the fuel farm, a cargo terminal, and the new runway, was signed between China and the Maldives in 2014, Xinhua News Agency reported. Constructed by Beijing Urban Construction Group, a large international construction group based in China, the new runway is 3,400 meters long and 60 meters wide. It is the latest push by China to gain influence over the politically troubled nation. Earlier this year, Maldivian President Abdulla Y

By Cod Satrusayang
September 20, 2018


Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif released from jail

Nawaz Sharif and his family were released from Adiala jail on Wednesday after the Islamabad High Court suspended their respective prison sentences in the Avenfield corruption case earlier in the day. PML-N Pr

By Dawn
September 20, 2018


El Salvador ups pressure on Taiwan relations

Prosecutors in El Salvador to investigate the alleged graft of some $10 million in funds donated by Taiwan. El Salvador announced it would sever ties with Taiwan and switch its allegiance to Beijing on 21th August. The loss of the Central American country reduces the number of Taiwan’s formal diplomatic allies to just 17. Now the current president of El Salvador, Sanchez Ceren, is accused that he won the election by relying on partial fund which was donated by Taiwan in 2014. Prosecutor Douglas Melendez said in a TV interview that Taiwan gave $38 million to El Salvador for various projects, but the fund was used in a partisan campaign by Mauricio Funes in election won by current President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the presidential candidate of the FMLN party in 2014. The FMLN party calling the accusations “baseless” and accusing Melendez of “attacking our candidate and o

By Asia News Network
September 20, 2018