Tuesday 18 March 2008


Malaysia's PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi revealed a smaller, but nevertheless a cumbersome 68 cadre of cabinet ministers on Tuesday 16th March 2008, he did away with all the Parliamentary Secretaries in his previous administration, hence the smaller number, but the number of politicians remained similar.

For some reason, since he is not known to be a financial wizard, he kept the finance portfolio for himself.No sign of KJ the SIL, so perhaps KJ who 'won' the Parliamentary seat of Rembau, is still a back room boy, even maybe the power behind the PM?

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Barisan Nasional BN (National Front) coalition lost big time in the recent General Elections, he told reporters,

"My expectation is that they will perform better than before and I believe ... they are capable and they will be able to fulfill the [BN government's, UMNO's?] agenda,"

This new Cabinet was formed after the GE on 8th March 2008 in which Abdullah's ruling National Front coalition suffered a massive erosion of its routine 2/3 majority, which meant in the past they could say, 'We can do as we like, as we have a two-thirds Parliamentary majority.' Now they will have to sing a different song

Now BN only has 140 MPs in the 222-member Parliament, leaving a smaller pot to select ministers from, the last Cabinet had 90 members.

Now the Cabinet has only 32 full ministers and 36 deputy ministers, and no parliamentary secretaries. Only 17 out of the 32 full ministers were chosen from his last administration, out of which only five retain their previous portfolios.

Of the 32 ministers in the cabinet, 22, are from UMNO (United Malays National Organisation), so it is virtually an UMNO government is it not?

There are 68.75% (22 seats) for UMNO , MCA getting 12.5% (4 seats),and the remaining 6 parties, MIC, PBS, SUPP, PBB, PRRS & UPKO, getting just 3.125% each (1 seat each)

Former Minister of International Trade Rafidah Aziz, was unceremoniously dropped from the Cabinet, being replaced by Muhyiddin Yasin, the agriculture minister in the previous administration.

Rafidah, who had led many trade negotiations faced many accusations of corruption and self centredness, but Abdullah refused to give any reasons for dropping her

"She should also make way for someone new to take over MITI," Abdullah said.

Abdullah appointed a minister to oversee reforms in the judiciary, which has come under attack in recent months for its hand in glove relationship with politicians, lawyers and businessmen. This minister will be really busy if he does his job properly, the judiciary appears to be rotten to the core, major surgery will be required to excise the cancer of corruption and injustice.

Abdullah moved Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar to the Home Ministry, now merged with the Internal Security Ministry which was previously headed by Abdullah himself.

Abdullah reiterated that he has no intention of quitting despite the dismal election result.

"As far as I am concerned I am here. I have been given a mandate, a very strong mandate I believe. I am not the one who is going to shirk his responsibilities. It is my intention to continue," he said.

Abdullah tried to explain (excuse) previous shortcoming by saying that his previous administration had good plans and visions of grand projects including development programs but was short on implementation.

What on earth is that supposed to mean!

"This term we have to emphasize on vigorous implementation of policies and programs," he said.

So is he (Abdullah) saying that in the past the object of the government was not to implement policies, but was just to syphon off funds for the Ministers own pockets which were meant to be used to implement projects?

Going by what happened; one can be excused for reading it like this!!

The list (Political parties are not stated):

Prime Minister: Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Deputy Prime Minister: Najib Tun Razak

Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department
Bernard Dompok
Nazri Aziz
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Newly Appointed Senator Mohd Zaid Ibrahim
Newly Appointed Senator Amirsham Abdul Aziz

Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department
Johari Baharom
Mashitah Ibrahim
Hasan Malek

Finance Minister: Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Second Finance Minister - Nor Mohamed Yakcop
Deputies - Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Kong Cho Ha

Defence Minister: Najib Tun Razak
Deputy - Abu Seman Yusop

Internal Security and Home Affairs Minister: Syed Hamid Albar
Deputies - Chor Chee Heung, Senator Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh

Housing and Local Government Minister: Ong Ka Chuan
Deputies - Robert Lau, Hamzah Zainuddin

Public Works Minister: Mohd Zin Mohamad
Deputy -Yong Khoon Seng

Energy, Water and Communications Minister: Shaziman Abu Mansor
Deputy - Joseph Salang Gandum

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister: Mustapa Mohamed
Deputy - Rohani Abdul Karim

International Trade and Industry Minister: Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputies - Vui Keong, Jacob Dungau Sagan

Foreign Affairs Minister: Rais Yatim
Deputy - Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar

Education Minister: Hishammuddin Hussein
Deputies - Wee Ka Siong, Razali Ismail

Higher Education Minister: Khaled Nordin
Deputies - Hou Kok Chung, Idris Harun

Transport Minister: Ong Tee Keat
Deputy - Anifah Aman

Human Resources Minister: S. Subramaniam
Deputy - Noraini Ahmad

Women, Family and Community Development Minister: Ng Yen Yen
Deputy - Noriah Kasnon

National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister: Shafie Apdal
Deputy - Teng Boon Soon

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister: Maximus Ongkili
Deputy - Fadilah Yusof

Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development Minister: Noh Omar
Deputy - Saiffuddin Abdullah

Natural Resources and Environment Minister: Douglas Unggah Embas
Deputy - Abdul Ghapur Salleh

Rural and Regional Development Minister: Newly Appointed Senator Muhammad Muhd Taib*
Deputy - Joseph Kurup, Joseph Entulu Belaun

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister: Shahrir Samad
Deputy - Jelaing Mersat

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister: Peter Chin Fah Kui
Deputy - Newly Appointed Senator A. Kohilan

Youth and Sports Minister: Ismail Sabri Yaacob
Deputy - Wee Jeck Seng

Health Minister: Liow Tiong Lai
Deputy - Abdul Latiff Ahmad

Information Minister: Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Deputy - Tan Lian Hoe

Tourism Minister - Azalina Othman
Deputy - Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib

Federal Territories Minister: Zulhasnan Rafique
Deputy - M. Saravanan

Note: Senators are appointed not elected.

Muhammad Muhd Taib*
A surprising choice for a Ministers post is Muhammad Muhd Taib (known to some as 'Mike Tyson')*
Remember him?
He 'no speaka da Inglish', when he was caught carrying millions of $ in currency notes illegally into Australia, what really good, down to earth, honest ministerial material he is!!!

See Al Jazeera English article about the new Malaysian cabinet HERE

Well, for better and for worse, that is the list, now let us see how they perform, they will not have a carte blanc so better be ready for a rough ride in parliament!

Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando? - Who, what, where, with what, why, how, when?

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