Three days after the 14th general election, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had announced three leaders to run the ministries of the new Cabinet at about 3.30pm.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng will helm the highly heeded finance minister position, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu will become the defence minister and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin will take on the home affairs minister.
Mahathir said that the new government will consist of a smaller Cabinet as oppose to the previous administration. There will be only 10 ministries in the new cabinet line-up and the other seven are yet to be named.
“We have not named the seven other ministers.
“We request the four parties from the coalition to submit three names from each party for the consideration of the prime ministers,” Mahathir said during the press conference at the Bersatu headquarters today.
When asked about being the first Chinese Malaysian to be made finance minister after 44 years, Lim responded with this:
“I don’t see myself as a Chinese. I am a Malaysian.”
He said he would focus effort to help Malaysians struggling to make ends meet and review “unfavourable contracts”.
According to Malaysiakini, the press conference started after a Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting which commenced earlier in the morning. It’s reported that PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Dr Wan Azizah and Rafizi Ramli had spoken to PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital to get his opinion on who should take on the ministerial roles. It’s hinted that the party would give Anwar “a position that he deserves” after his release and attained a royal pardon.
Other than announcing the three heads of the ministries, Mahathir also revealed a new department in the government, calling it a Council of Elders or “Team of Eminent Persons”, NST reported. The newly elected Prime Minister had announced five prominent and successful veterans to take on the roles as advisers for the government on economic and financial matters. Here they are:
Former Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin
Daim will head the council in this new administration. Previously, Daim had declared loyalty to Mahathir but he said he wouldn’t take on a ministerial position.
“As long as I have breath in my body, I will stand by Dr Mahathir. I don’t have to be a minister,” he said on May 3.
Former Bank Negara governor, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz
The lady who was part of the leaders in Malaysia’s central bank for more than 16 years, also the one who signed on our Malaysian’s note, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. Currently aged at 70-year-old, she was “graded A” for 11 times consecutively among the heads of central banks internationally by New York-based magazine Global Finance. That’s just one of the many achievements Zeti accomplished as one of the longest-serving BNM governor as well as the first female governor.