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Anwar unveils Malaysia Cabinet; Ahmad Zahid and Fadillah Yusof to serve as his deputies

The swearing-in ceremony for the Cabinet will take place on Saturday at 3pm.

Anwar unveils Malaysia Cabinet; Ahmad Zahid and Fadillah Yusof to serve as his deputies

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim holds a document during a press conference to announce new Cabinet members at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya on Dec 2, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Arif Kartono)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Friday night (Dec 2) unveiled his Cabinet line-up, with Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) Fadillah Yusof serving as his deputies. 

Mr Anwar will also serve as the finance minister, while Mr Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz will serve as the trade minister. 

The defence and economy portfolios will be held by Mr Mohamad Hasan and Mr Rafizi Ramli respectively. 

Mr Anthony Loke will be the transport minister while Mr Mohamad Sabu will serve as the agriculture minister. 

Other key portfolios, including health, home affairs and education will be held by Dr Zaliha Mustafa, Mr Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and Mrs Fadhlina Sidek respectively. 

Ahmad Zahid and Mr Fadillah will also serve concurrently as rural development minister as well as plantation industries and commodities minister respectively.

The ministers will be sworn in on Saturday at 3pm.

In a televised address on Friday night, Mr Anwar said: "After swearing in tomorrow, I will hold a special meeting with the ministers so that some rules, directions, new methods can be introduced in order to speed up the efforts in carrying out their duties." 

Mr Anwar also stressed that in his unity government, the issues of good governance, easing the people's burden and economic development will be the top priorities.

The line-up unveiled by Mr Anwar comprises 28 ministers, which is leaner than the recent Cabinet teams helmed by Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Mr Muhyiddin Yassin. The list of deputy ministers has yet to be announced. 

Under the Ismail Sabri administration, there were 31 ministers and 38 deputies.

Mr Muhyiddin, meanwhile, had a Cabinet of 32 ministers and 38 deputies.

Earlier, the new prime minister said that his Cabinet will be downsized. He also said that he will do away with appointing Cabinet ministers as a form of reward.

The Nov 19 election produced no clear winner, with neither Mr Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) nor Mr Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) able to secure a simple majority in the 222-seat Lower House.

PH won 81 seats while PN managed 73, putting both in a position to form the next government. A coalition needs to be backed by at least 112 lawmakers to form the next government. Both coalitions scrambled to gather support from BN, GPS and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS). 

BN, which finished a distant third, managed to win 30 seats. GPS won 23 seats while GRS emerged victorious in six seats.

The king had asked PH and PN to form a unity government, but the latter turned down the suggestion.

Following a meeting of the Malay rulers on Nov 24 regarding the political impasse, Istana Negara announced that Mr Anwar will be the next prime minister.

After being sworn in on Nov 24, Mr Anwar told reporters that the unity government comprises PH, BN and GPS. The government also included Parti Warisan Sabah, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance and other independent lawmakers.

A day later, he said that GRS also joined the unity government. 

The new prime minister said that the next parliamentary session will take place on Dec 19.

He added that a vote of confidence in his leadership will be the first item on the agenda during the parliamentary session. 


Source: CNA/aw


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