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Mar 17, 2008

Abdullah enlists Najib in choosing Cabinet - here's our pick who's in it tomorrow

4 deputy ministers to be promoted to full ministers

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 – The Prime Minister and his deputy yesterday pored through the list of candidates for the Malaysian Cabinet, perhaps the last time they would do so before the PM announces the line-up of new ministers tomorrow.

The move by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to include Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the process will be interpreted by the Umno faithful as a signal that he intends to pass the baton of leadership of Umno to his deputy once the party and the ruling coalition had been strengthened.

While there are great expectations that this would be a solid cabinet, The Malaysian Insider understands that despite wide speculation, it won’t contain a sprinkling of “brand names’’ from the private sector.

The defeat of several Umno veterans such as Rural Development Minister Aziz Shamsuddin, Information Minister Zainuddin Mydin and the fact that a clutch of Umno ministers like Home Minister Datuk Radzi Sheikh Ahmad will not be returning to the Cabinet has freed up space for the promotion of 4 deputy ministers.

They are Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamad and Datuk Shahziman Abu Mansor.

For Datuk Ahmad Zahid, this promotion will complete his rehabilitation from political wilderness which began when he joined the Anwar Ibrahim camp and launched an attack against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1998.

He was brought back to the mainstream of Umno by Abdullah and rewarded with several promotions for his loyalty to the party.

Datuk Ahmad Husni has long been marked as a possible replacement for Datuk Rafidah Aziz as the Minister of International Trade and Industry.

Barisan Nasional sources said that the new Health Minister will be Datuk Ng Yen Yen, while Datuk Ong Tee Keat takes Transport; Datuk Ong Ka Chuan will be the Local Government and Housing Minister and Datuk Liow Tiong Lai is likely to be appointed Human Resources Minister.

MIC’s sole representative in Cabinet could be Segamat MP Datuk S. Subramaniam.

There is growing speculation that Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop will be made the Finance Minister.

In the previous administration he was the Second Finance Minister. Other Umno ministers to be retained are Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Azalina Othman Said, Datuk Khaled Nordin, Datuk Abdullah Zin, Datuk Syed Hamid Albar.

Investors and Malaysia watchers say that the shape of the Cabinet will be a barometer of whether Abdullah appreciates the changed political landscape post-March 8 and if he is serious about re-connecting with a large swathe of voters who were prepared to vote for the Opposition.

But the reality of BN politics dictates that he rewards component parties which were successful in the polls and that he also takes into consideration geographical factors.

Still, those who expect a dynamic Cabinet will not be interested in excuses or the structural difficulties of meeting their aspirations. (themalaysianinsider)


Anonymous said...

KJ(Daim puppet) need not be in the line up coz there are proxies like Shaziman (his cousin), Khalid Nordin, azalina & Noh Mohammed.So why the worries. kah kah kah Fengtau Shaziman even get promoted.What a nice PL/KJ smoke screen to Nagib& gang. Those 30 frogs definitely jump to Anwar as planned to save PL&KJ ass.

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