KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Twelve days after Malaysians gave Pakatan Harapan (PH) the mandate to govern the country, 13 preliminary Cabinet ministers were sworn in yesterday, indicating a new start in government administration.
The Cabinet ministers took their oath of office, loyalty and secrecy before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Malaysia’s King) Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara (Palace) yesterday evening, in line with the Federal Constitution and affirming the responsibilities of the ministers who start their official duties instantly.
Previously, the focus was on Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was sworn in as Prime Minister on May 10.
Now, the challenge was in leading the newly-formed government together with the new Cabinet members to help fulfil the promises made in PH’s manifesto.
Dr Mahathir, who was Prime Minister for 22 years from 1981 until 2003, apart from being experienced in holding several ministry portfolios, may not face difficulties in adjusting as a federal Cabinet member.
Among the Cabinet ministers sworn in yesterday was Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also an experienced political leader.
He was a Deputy Prime Minister in the Barisan Nasional government and had held various ministry portfolios such as Education Minister, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, International Trade and Industry Minister as well as Sports and Youth Minister.
Meanwhile, another experienced political figure was Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng who had been Penang Chief Minister for two terms, starting from 2008 to 2018.
However, the other 10 who were sworn in, including PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who had been named as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women’s Affairs and Welfare, were new faces in the Cabinet line-up.
Political analyst Azmi Hassan said although the Cabinet ministers were inexperienced, the real challenge lay in being led by a leader who possessed vast administrative experience and assisted by government officials who were also experienced.
Although this situation would take a while to adjust to, he said the main challenge faced was in carrying out their responsibilities with the presence of a Government Advisory Council while fulfilling the needs of the PH Presidential Council.
“I expect the new ministers to face problems in adapting with the presence of these two councils that are rather influential in shaping the country’s policies, he told Bernama after the swearing-in ceremony yesterday.
The Government Advisory Council was formed to advise the government on current economics and finances, while the PH Presidential Council which comprised the top leaders of PH’s component parties who made decisions on matters in consensus.
Azmi, who is also a lecturer at a public university, said another challenge faced would be in the revocation of old government policies as they (new Cabinet ministers) needed to replace the policies with better ones.
Meanwhile, political analyst Assoc Prof Dr Ahmad Martadha Mohamad who is also a Universiti Utara Malaysia Law, Government and International Studies lecturer was of the view that the actual challenge of the Cabinet line-up was in fulfilling the promises made when they were the opposition party.
He said, previously, most of them were rather vocal and rather critical towards the former government when voicing out their views in improving the government policies for the welfare of the people.
“For instance, M.Kulasegaran, who was appointed as the Human Resource Minister, was a lawyer who was often involved in labour welfare cases and constantly questioned policies such as on the Minimum Wages Policy.
“Meanwhile, for Anthony Loke, who was appointed as Transport Minister, his challenge is to look at public transportation issues as a decision-maker, as previously he had criticised public transportation administration matters, said Ahmad Martadha.
He added that beyond the numerous challenges faced, the people still held high hopes that the Cabinet members appointed would be able to fulfil the promises of the PH manifesto as they truly hoped for change to come after the votes cast in the 14th General Election.
Source: NAM News Network