Malaysian premier unveils new cabinet line-up

April 9th, 2009 - 5:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, April 9 (DPA) Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Thursday announced a new cabinet line-up of 28 ministers and 40 deputy ministers who he said represented the government’s focus on reforms and change.
The cabinet includes Human Resource Minister S. Subramaniam and Federal Territory Deputy Minister M. Saravanan.

The new cabinet is slightly smaller than the 31-minister strong administration of Najib’s predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“This cabinet is not only a new team with a new face. It is a sign of a new approach of a government that is responsible and focused in putting the people first,” Najib said before announcing the names of the new ministers, many of whom are first-timers.

Najib, who is also finance minister, announced Muhyiddin Yassin to be the deputy prime minister and education minister.

Najib, 56, took office Friday and pledged to carry out wide-ranging administrative and social reforms which Abdullah had also promised to do, but largely failed to.

Malaysia’s new premier pledged to lead a government that was open to criticism and different views.

“We need to understand that the era of excessive government controls, and an attitude of ‘government-knows-best’, has passed,” he said. “We are only capable of achieving our dreams when the government and the people work together to build a country that is

safe and peaceful.”

He said the cabinet was reflective of the ruling National Front coalition, which is made up of multi-ethnic parties representing the many different races in Malaysia.

“The fact is, we are facing many challenges, but I believe there are no problems in this country that we cannot face together.

“And thus, come along with us, with this dedicated team, on this fantastic journey to reform and improve this country which we love.”

The National Front is facing its worst-ever drop of public support and suffered humiliating losses in the March 2008 general elections.

The Front lost its two-thirds majority in parliament and an unprecedented five out of 13 states to the opposition.

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