Your Basic Guide to the New Cabinet Members of Malaysia

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Eight days after Tun M was sworn in as Malaysia’s 7th Prime Minister, he has finally announced all the cabinet members. The cabinet members are from various political parties and approved by the Yang-diPertuan Agong Muhammad V, to be sworn in on 21st of May.

Prime Minister: Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad

Tun M is certainly an interesting political figure. At 92 years old, he is the world’s oldest head of government, and the first Malaysian Prime Minister to serve non-consecutive terms and from two different parties. Now, Malaysian citizens regard him with reverence, looking to him to lead Malaysia to greatness again. Did you know? Tun M is the youngest of nine siblings!

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Deputy Prime Minister & Women and Family Development Minister: Dr. Wan Azizah binti Wan Ismail

Not only does Dr. Wan Azizah hold two positions, but she is also the first female to be a Deputy Prime Minister! Born in Singapore, Dr. Wan Azizah studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and served as a government doctor for 14 years. When her husband Anwar Ibrahim (the leader of the then-Opposition Party) was behind bars, she lead in his stead, making her the second woman in Malaysia’s history to lead a political party.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic) said that she would willingly make way for her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim once he is free and able to return to active politics if the Pakatan Harapan pact wins the 14th general elections. — Picture by Choo Choy May
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Rural Development Minister: Puan Rina Harun

Rina has been active in politics since 2002. Formerly a Puteri UMNO member, she joined the Bersatu party last year. Currently, she serves as deputy chief for Pakatan Harapan Wanita, as well as the Srikandi Bersatu chief. Her qualifications include a Diploma in Business Studies from the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Bachelor Degree (double major) in Banking & Finance and Management from Northwood University, Michigan, United States.

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Economic Affairs Minister: Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin bin Ali

Azmin Ali is the chief minister of Selangor, and no stranger to politics. Since 1987, he had been working with Anwar Ibrahim, and together they founded the Parti Keadilan Rakyat. He now serves as the party’s deputy chief. Having a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Mathematics, it’s no wonder the post went to him. Besides that, he was also the former president of the Football Association of Selangor (FAS)!

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Housing and Local Government Minister: Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin

Datuk Zuraida is a Social Science graduate, and has worked in many different companies holding different positions. She is also the chief for Pakatan Harapan Wanita. As the chief of Pakatan Harapan Wanita and a Member of Parliament, it’s no surprise that she is frequently invited to attend international political meetings. One of the more notable occasions was when she was invited to attend and give a speech at the Women Political Leaders Summit (WPL) in Iceland.

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Finance Minister: Lim Guan Eng

Lim Guan Eng was the Chief Minister of Penang since 2008 and Secretary-General of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) since 2004. He is also the son of Lim Kit Siang, Leader of the Opposition in the Dewan Rakyat from 1973 to 1999 and 2004 to 2008. Despite being arrested a few times, he remained outspoken when dealing with issues. At a recent press conference, he proudly declared “I am not Chinese, I am a Malaysian”, which further endeared him to Malaysian citizens.

Ketua Menteri Lim Guan Eng berkata, SPA akan dinaikkan daripada 48 sen kepada RM1 setiap 1,000 liter air untuk penggunaan melebihi 35,000 liter sebulan sebagai langkah terakhir bagi mengurangkan kadar pembaziran air di Pulau Pinang.
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Home Minister: Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Yassin

Muhyiddin Yassin was the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from 2009 till 2015 and Deputy President of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the main component party of the opposition, Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition from 2009 till 2016. On 28 July 2015, Najib had a mid-term Cabinet reshuffle, and he was dropped as the DPM then. The reason? He spoke out against Najib’s way of handling the 1MDB scandal.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin old a news conference in Kempas, Johor yesterday that the federal Opposition pact has yet to decide on the matter. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
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Transport Minister: Anthony Loke Siew Fook

The Member of Parliament for Seremban, Anthony is also a senior official of the Democratic Action Party (DAP). When ordered to cover up billboards that featured Tun M, Anthony apologised to him. He first entered the political scene in 2004 when he was elected to the Negeri Sembilan State Legislative Assembly for the seat of Lobak. Besides that, he also holds a degree in development science from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

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Communications and Multimedia Minister: Gobind Singh Deo

Following in his late father’s (Karpal Singh) footsteps, Gobind is a lawyer and a Member of Parliament. In 1996, Gobind was admitted to the bar, and elected to the Parliament in the 2008 elections. Besides being the national legal bureau secretary for the Democratic Action Party (DAP), he also has a law firm in Kuala Lumpur. Politics seem to run in his family, as both his brothers are DAP politicians as well.

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Human Resource Minister: Kulasegaran s/o V. Murugeson

Kulasegaran is also a lawyer, and is outspoken regarding the issues that Malaysian Indians face.  He is the National Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), and was first elected to Parliament in a 1997 by-election for the seat of Teluk Intan. Later on, in the 1999 General Election, he switched to the seat of Ipoh Barat, but lost. In 2004, he recontested, and won. In each successive General Election, he successfully retained his seat.

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Defence Minister: Haji Mohamad bin Sabu

No stranger to the political scene, Mat Sabu is widely known for his public speaking abilities. Previously the deputy president of Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), he is now the head of the National Trust Party (AMANAH). He has also been a Member of Parliament for Kelantan and Kedah prior to this. Very recently, a Facebook user stated that he is comparable to Hagrid from Harry Potter, and we couldn’t agree more!

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Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister: Haji Salahuddin Ayub

Now the deputy president of Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH), Salahuddin was previously involved in the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) from 2013 to 2015. He has in Diploma in Business Administration, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. He wasn’t always successful in the previous elections, but in 2018, he won both the state and parliament seats he contested for.

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Health Minister: Dr. Haji Dzulkefly bin Ahmad

In 2004, Dzulkefly contested for the first time, but he lost. In 2008, he was elected to the Parliament, winning the seat of Kuala Selangor. Currently, he is a member of Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH), but prior to this, he was a member of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). His academic qualifications are extensive with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a doctorate in toxicology, all from different institutions in the UK.

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Education Minister: Dr. Maszlee Malik

Dr. Maszlee is a assistant professor in the Faculty of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences at the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM). His area of interest mostly centred on Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), and he is often invited as a forum panellist to discuss issues relating to Islamic politics and the politics of the Middle East. According to web users, he is multilingual (Chinese, English, Malay, Traditional and Modern Arabic), and has connections to the Finland education system.

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