breaking news Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today announced his new cabinet.
During a 20-minute press conference at his office in Putrajaya, Abdullah said he has decided not to appoint any parliamentary secretaries – bringing the number of appointments to 68.
He has also dropped many notable veterans and roped in new faces, who now make up half of the cabinet.
Those axed are veteran leaders Rafidah Aziz, Jamaluddin Jarjis, Azmi Khalid and Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, who is known to be close to the prime minister.
Abdullah would not comment on the departure of Rafidah. “I don’t discuss why. I think she should make way for someone new,” he said when quizzed on this.
The premier has dropped his portfolio of internal security and outgoing foreign minister Syed Hamid Albar will run a newly merged home affairs and internal security ministry.
Abdullah retained his finance portfolio and Nor Mohamed Yakcop will continue to serve as second finance minister.
The number of ministries have also been slashed from 32 to 27. Among the interesting new faces are Zaid Ibrahim, who has been appointed minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs and Shahrir Samad who is appointed domestic trade and consumer affairs minister.
According to Abdullah, Zaid will be put in charge of legal affairs and oversee reforms in the judiciary.
Abdullah’s previous cabinet had a whopping 32 ministers, 39 deputy ministers and 20 parliamentary secretaries, with jobs handed out to many of the 14 race-based parties that make up the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Only 17 of the 32 ministers in the previous cabinet have been retained – with five keeping their old posts while 12 moved to new profolios.
Among them are Dr Rais Yatim, who has been named foreign minister and Ong Tee Keat (transport minister).
Other interesting new faces are Muhammad Muhd Taib (rural development minister) and Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s son Sulaiman, who has been appointed deputy tourism minister.
Khairy not in the line-up
Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin was not named in the cabinet line up announced by his father-in-law.
Prior to the elections, it was speculated that Khairy – the 32-year-old Oxford graduate – will be given an important post.
However, the March 8 polls reversed his fortunes. Many blamed the young politician for BN’s disastrous performance.
Since then, pressure had mounted on the prime minister not to include his son-in-law in the line-up.
MIC loses works ministry
MIC failed to retain its control over the works ministry and party’s secretary-general Dr S Subramaniam has been appointed human resources minister.
The previous works minister was MIC president S Samy Vellu. The party suffered heavy losses in the March 8 polls, losing six out of nine parliamentary seats and 12 out of 19 state seats.
MIC information chief M Saravanan has been appointed deputy federal territories minister while central working committee (CWC) member S Devamany is deputy natural resources and mining minister.
Deputy Prime Minister
Najib Razak (Umno)
Second Finance Minister
Deputies: Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah (Umno), Kong Cho Ha (MCA)
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)
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
Deputy: Rohani Abdul Karim (Umno)
International Trade and Industry Minister
Muhyiddin Yassin (Umno)
Deputy: Leow Wei Keong (LDP), Yaakob Dungau Sagan
Deputy: Sultan Azlan Abu Bakar (Umno)
Hishammuddin Hussein (Umno)
Deputies: Dr Wee Ka Siong (MCA), Razali Ismail (Umno)
Ong Tee Keat (MCA)
Deputy: Anifah Aman
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 (Umno)
Women, Family and Community Development Minister
Dr Ng Yen Yen (MCA)
Deputy: Norliah Kasmon
Culture, Arts, Heritage and National Unity Minister
Deputy: Teng Boon Soon (MCA)
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister
Dr Maximum Ongkili
Deputy: Fadillah Yusof
Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development Minister
Noh Omar (Umno)
Deputy: Saifudin Abdullah
Higher Education Minister
Deputies: Idris Haron (Umno), Dr Hou Kok Chung (MCA)
Ahmad Shabery Cheek (Umno)
Deputy: Tan Lian Hoe (Gerakan)
Natural Resources and Environment Minister
Douglas Uggah Embas (PPB)
Deputy: Abdul Ghapur Salleh (Umno)
Rural and Regional Development Minister
Senator Muhammad Muhammad Taib (Umno)
Deputy: Joseph Entulu
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister
Abdul Shahrir Samad (Umno)
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister
Deputy: Kohilan Pillay (Gerakan)
Youth and Sports Minister
Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Umno)
Deputy: Wee Jack Seng (MCA)
Deputy: Sulaiman Abu Taib (PBB)
Federal Territories Minister
Zulhasnan Rafique (Umno)
Deputy: M Saravanan (MIC)
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department
Zaid Ibrahim (to be appointed senator) – legal affairs
Zahid Hamidi (Umno)
Bernard Dompok (Upko)
Dr Abdullah Md Zin (Umno)