KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 2): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim unveiled on Friday (Dec 2) a 28-minister Cabinet in which he will hold the Finance Ministry portfolio, with two deputy prime ministers — namely Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi from Barisan Nasional and Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof from Gabungan Parti Sarawak.
This is the first time Malaysia will have two DPMs. Zahid will also be the Rural and Regional Development Minister, while Fadillah will hold the Plantation and Commodities portfolio.
Prior to the 15th general election (GE15), the Perikatan Nasional-led government under former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had no DPM and had four senior ministers instead, who led the Economy, Defence, Works and Education ministries. And prior to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, the sole DPM post was held by Parti Keadilan Rakyat's former president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail from 2018 to 2020.
Other notable appointments included Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, who previously held the finance minister post as senator and is returning to the Cabinet as the Minister of International Trade and Industry; Rafizi Ramli, who will be the Economic Minister; and Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who is taking up the Defence Ministry portfolio.
In announcing the line-up via a live telecast on Friday evening, Anwar said government matters — especially those under the Finance Ministry — will be assisted by several pro bono advisers who will be led by Tan Sri Hassan Merican, the former president and chief executive officer of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas).
His Cabinet ministers comprise MPs and senators across the leading coalitions in the unity government, Anwar said. There are 15 ministers from PH, six from BN, five from GPS, and one from GRS.
They will be sworn in at 3pm on Saturday (Dec 3), Anwar said.
A special meeting will be held with the ministers to introduce new “rules” and “direction”, he said, adding that he intends to dispel any doubt on possibility of wastage, corruption or abuse of power.
“In the Cabinet, the focus is on good governance, steps taken to reduce the burden of the people, and driving the economy,” he added.
There will be four senators in the Cabinet, namely Zafrul (BN), Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PH), Foreign minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir (BN), and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar. Mohd Na'im, the only non-politician in the line-up, is currently the Shariah Judiciary Department's Director-General.
Cabinet size down from 32 to 28
In contrast to Anwar's Cabinet of 28 ministers (including the PM's post), Ismail Sabri had 32 ministers, with 38 deputies. Anwar has yet to announce the list of deputy ministers.
The previous PH government in 2018-2020, led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had 28 ministers (including PM) and 27 deputies.
The biggest Cabinet line-up was seen during the tenure of the sixth prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who had 38 ministers (including the PM) and 34 deputies.
The full list of Anwar's Cabinet:
• Prime Minister, Finance Minister: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-PKR)
• Deputy Prime Minister, Rural and Regional Development Minister: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (BN-Umno)
• Deputy Prime Minister, Plantation and Commodities Minister: Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (GPS-PBB)
• Home Minister: Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PH-PKR)
• Transport Minister: Anthony Loke Siew Fook (PH-DAP)
• Defence Minister: Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan (BN-Umno)
• Works Minister: Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (GPS-PBB)
• International Trade and Industry Minister: Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz (BN-Umno)
• Economy Minister: Rafizi Ramli (PH-PKR)
• Agriculture and Food Security Minister: Mohamad Sabu (PH-Amanah)
• Local Government Development Minister: Nga Kor Ming (PH-DAP)
• Higher Education Minister: Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin (BN-Umno)
• Science and Technology minister: Chang Lih Kang (PH-PKR)
• Women, Family and Community Development Minister: Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (GPS-PBB)
• Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister: Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub (PH-Amanah)
• Digital Communications Minister: Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil (PH-PKR)
• Education Minister: Fadhlina Sidek (PH-PKR)
• Health Minister: Dr Zaliha Mustafa (PH-PKR)
• Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister: Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PH-PKR)
• Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister: Datuk Ewon Benedick (PH-Upko)
• Foreign Minister: Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir (BN-Umno)
• Tourism Minister: Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (GPS-PDP)
• Human Resource Minister: V Sivakumar (PH-DAP)
• National Unity Minister: Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang (GPS-PRS)
• Youth and Sports Minister: Hannah Yeoh (PH-DAP)
• Prime Minister's Department Ministers:
- Law and Institutional Reforms: Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Umno)
- Religious Affairs: Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar (Non-politican)
- Sabah and Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions: Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali (GRS-Bersatu Sabah)
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