See More on Facebook

Politics

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

Politics

Press freedom is deteriorating in Asia, elections may offer a reset button

With many countries going to polls this year, the electorate across Asia have a chance to turn around a worrying press freedom situation. Maria Ressa’s arrest on Wednesday was the latest in a string of blatant attacks on the freedom of the press in Southeast Asia. For those that don’t know, Ressa is an award-winning journalist and CEO of the news website the Rappler. Her coverage of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s extra-judicial war on drugs has received recognition far beyond her borders and as such, she is seen as a direct threat to the government. The latest arrest, made without prior warning, stemmed from a libel case where the complaint was filed five years after the initial story was published. Numerous press alliances, including the Asia News Network, have condemned the arrest as a blatant attack on freedom of the press. As the Philippines chapter of the Centre for Media Freedom and


By Cod Satrusayang
February 15, 2019

Politics

Thai Princess Ubolratana disqualified from election next month

The Election Commission said that members of the royal family should be “above politics” and therefore cannot “hold any political office”. Thailand’s Election Commission has ruled a princess out of next month’s election as uncertainty hangs over the fate of the political party which tried to nominate her as its candidate for prime minister. The name of Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s elder sister, was left out of a list prime minister nominees released by the commission on Monday (Feb 11). There are 69 names, including that of current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, on the list. “All membe


By The Straits Times
February 12, 2019

Politics

South Korea, US ink provisional defense cost-sharing pact

Getting allies to pay ‘their fair share’ has been a major part of President Trump’s rhetoric. South Korea and the United States signed a provisional agreement Sunday on the sharing of costs to maintain US troops here, with South Korea raising its share by 8.2 percent. Seoul’s negotiator, Chang Won-sam, and his US counterpart, Timothy Betts, met in Seoul to ink the contract. Under the new deal, South Korea will pay about 1.03 trillion won ($890 million) to cover the costs of stationing the 28,500 members of US Armed Forces Korea here throughout 2019. The figure reflects the rate of increase of South Korea’s annual defense budget, according to the Foreign Ministry in Seoul. Last year, South Korea paid about 960 billion won to its ally for the same purpose.


By The Korea Herald
February 11, 2019

Politics

Thailand is headed for another political crisis and it can’t stop itself

Prayuth Chan-ocha may be prime minister after elections but what comes after is much harder. On the 16th of May, 1877, French President Patrice de Mac-Mahon dismissed then Prime Minister Jules Simon and named a successor who was rejected by the house of parliament. Mac-Mahon responded by dissolving parliament unilaterally leading to a constitutional crisis which changed the landscape of French politics until well into the 20th century. Thailand may soon experience something similar.


By Cod Satrusayang
February 11, 2019

Politics

200 Myanmar Buddhist flee violence into Bangladesh

The refugees were fleeing from clashes between the central government and a separatist group. Around 200 Buddhists from Myanmar’s Chin state crossed into a remote hilly region of Bandarban’s Ruma on Monday following intensified fighting between Myanmar army and rebel group Arakan Army, officials said. Shamsul Alam, upazila nirbahi officer in Ruma upazila, said members of around 40 Myanmar families took shelter in Cheih Kaying Para under Remakree Prangsha union. The fresh arrival of Myanmar nationals takes place at a time when Bangladesh is struggling to cope with the burden of over a million Rohingya Muslims. Of them, some 750,000 have taken shelter in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar since August 2017 following a military crackdown in Rakhine. Some 1,300 Rohingyas recently fled to the camps from India after allegedly facing abuses and threats in the neighbouring country. Several do


By Daily Star
February 8, 2019

Politics

Editorial: Modi’s visit underscores atrocities in Kashmir

An editorial at Dawn takes a look at India Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Kashmir. There couldn’t have been a more apt prelude to Kashmir Day, observed in Pakistan on Feb 5 each year, than the images of the closed-down occupied valley in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit. The land was on a lockdown to ensure smooth passage for the Indian prime minister, who was visiting to monitor development projects. Businesses were closed and internet services on the phone suspended. True to tradition, several well-known Kashmiri leaders were put under house arrest and hundreds of others also taken into custody in the run-up to the trip. Srinagar presented the look of a city besieged by soldiers taking control of the roads. Read more: 


By Dawn
February 6, 2019