18 March, 2008

And, the Winners are....

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ousted Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz and thinned his cabinet in an attempt to woo back voters after the ruling coalition's worst ever election showing.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today announced his new Cabinet line-up, dropping eight ministers who won the recent general election and appointing two corporate figures as ministers.

The new administration line-up was drawn up based on the "spirit of power-sharing and camaraderie of the Barisan Nasional (BN)", and it was capable of implementing the government agenda more effectively, he said.

Long-serving International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz is one of the casualties in the new cabinet line-up.

Rafidah, 64, who is also Wanita Umno chief, was appointed Minister of Trade and Industry on May 20, 1987.

She is believed to be the world's longest-serving trade minister.

Abdullah, when asked why Rafidah was dropped, said it was his prerogative and Rafidah should make way for new faces.

Two other casualties are Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, the former home minister and his mate from Perlis, Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid, the former natural resources and environment minister.

With both of them out (could it be due to the backstabbing and coup de tat in Perlis ? ), Perlis is left with no representative in the cabinet.

Following is the list of ministers dropped from the new cabinet announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today:

1. Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz

2. Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad

3. Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid

4. Datuk Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor

5. Datuk Abdullah Md Zin

6. Datuk Dr Jamaluddin Mohd Jarjis

7. Datuk Ong Ka Ting (on request)

8. Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn (based on MCA's two-term policy)

Pak Lah's New Cabinet

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Umno)

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak (Umno)

Finance Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Umno)

Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop (Umno)

Deputies: Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah (Umno), Kong Cho Ha (MCA)

Defence Minister Najib Razak (Umno)

Deputy: Abu Seman Yusop (Umno)

Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan (MCA)

Deputy: Robert Lau Hoi Chew (Supp), Hamzah Zainuddin (Umno)

Works Minister Mohd Zin Mohamed (Umno)

Deputy: Yong Khoon Seng (Supp)

Energy, Water and Communications Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor

Deputy: Joseph Salang Gandum

Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed (Umno)

Deputy: Rohani Abdul Karim (Umno)

International Trade and Industry Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (Umno)

Deputy: Leow Wui Keong (LDP), Jacob Dungau Sagan

Foreign Minister Rais Yatim (Umno)

Deputy: Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar (Umno)

Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (Umno)

Deputies: Dr Wee Ka Siong (MCA), Razali Ismail (Umno)

Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat (MCA)

Deputy: Anifah Aman

Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai (MCA)

Deputy: Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad (Umno)

Human Resources Minister S Subramaniam (MIC)

Deputy: Noraini Ahmad (Umno)

Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Syed Hamid Albar (Umno)

Deputies: Chor Chee Heung (MCA), Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh (Umno)

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen (MCA)

Deputy: Noriah Kasmon (Umno)

National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Shafie Apdal (Umno)

Deputy: Teng Boon Soon (MCA)

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Dr Maximus Ongkili (PBS)

Deputy: Fadillah Yusof

Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development Minister Noh Omar (Umno)

Deputy: Saifudin Abdullah

Higher Education Minister Mohd Khaled Nordin (Umno)

Deputies: Idris Haron (Umno), Dr Hou Kok Chung (MCA)

Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek (Umno)

Deputy: Tan Lian Hoe (Gerakan)

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Douglas Uggah Embas (PBB)

Deputy: Abdul Ghapur Salleh (Umno)

Rural and Regional Development Minister Senator Muhammad Muhammad Taib (Umno)

Deputies: Joseph Kurup, Joseph Entulu Belaun

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Abdul Samad (Umno)

Deputy: Jelaing Mersat

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui (Supp)

Deputy: Kohilan Pillay (Gerakan)

Youth and Sports Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Umno)

Deputy: Wee Jeck Seng (MCA)

Tourism Minister Azalina Othman Said (Umno)

Deputy: Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib (PBB)

Federal Territories MinisterZulhasnan Rafique (Umno)

Deputy: M Saravanan (MIC)

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department

Zaid Ibrahim (Umno, to be appointed senator) - legal affairs

Zahid Hamidi (Umno)

Bernard Dompok (Upko)

Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (Umno)

Amirsham A Aziz (former Maybank CEO, to be appointed senator)

Deputies: Mohd Johari Baharum (Umno), Mashitah Ibrahim (Umno, to be appointed senator), SK Devamany (MIC) and Hasan Malek (Umno).

The cabinet is due to be sworn in tomorrow.

Abdullah is surrounding himself with a more loyal team as he fends off demands to quit, some analysts said. His approval rating has slumped since a 2004 landslide election victory, and he has said ministries haven't rolled out policies fast enough.

``Most of the new faces are strong supporters of Abdullah, so he can have full confidence in his cabinet,'' said Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, professor of politics at Universiti Utara Malaysia. ``He has most of his men in the cabinet now!

CMs, DPMs and PMs: Time to go beyond the old taboos

To begin with, let us ask the singular question that nobody seems to have raised thus far: If, as our politicians would lead us to believe, this is indeed a country for all Malaysians, then should it not be the case that Malaysian citizenship and the commitment to the ideal of a plural Malaysian Malaysia be the guiding principle and criteria for all appointments to high office? Should that premise be accepted, would it not be conceivable that one day this country may have as its prime minister or deputy prime minister a Malaysian of non-Malay, non-Muslim and non-Male background? In other words, can we even begin to imagine the day when we may have a prime minister who happens to be of Indian-Hindu background and a woman to boot? And if such a situation is deemed unthinkable by some at the moment, we need to ask: Why? What is holding us back from entertaining such contingencies and variables? Surely what matters most in the selection of any leader or administrator is the competence and sincerity of the individual concerned; and it’s not as if it is the colour of the person’s skin that is doing the governing! (We hope not at least.)

Read more here.



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