KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Friday (Dec 10) named 27 deputy ministers for his unity government, seven days after naming his Cabinet ministers.
The names were unveiled at a news conference in Malaysia’s administrative capital of Putrajaya after they were approved by the Malaysian King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, earlier on Friday. The deputy ministers will be sworn in before the King at 3pm on Saturday.
Datuk Seri Anwar on Dec 2 unveiled a slightly smaller Cabinet than that of his predecessor, totalling 28 full ministers that included himself and two deputy prime ministers.
Mr Anwar is also the Finance Minister. The Finance Ministry will have two deputy ministers – Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan from the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and Mr Steven Sim from Pakatan Harapan (PH).
The deputy minister for the Ministry of International Trade and Industry is Mr Liew Chin Tong (PH), who was the deputy defence minister when PH helmed the government in 2018.
The deputy defence minister is Mr Adly Zahari (PH), who was formerly Melaka chief minister.
The deputy ministers in other key ministries are:
– Home Affairs – Mr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN)
– Law and Institutional Reform – Mr Ramkarpal Singh (PH)
– Foreign Affairs – Mr Mohamad Alamin (BN)
– Transport – Hasbi Habibollah (Gabungan Parti Sarawak, or GPS)
– Education – Ms Lim Hui Ying (PH), younger sister of Mr Lim Guan Eng, a PH leader and chairman of the Democratic Action Party
– Higher Education – Mr Yusof Apdal (Parti Warisan), younger brother of former Cabinet minister Shafie Apdal.
Malaysia’s unity government is made up of four main coalitions: PH led by Mr Anwar with 82 seats, BN with 30, GPS with 23 and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah with six, making a total of 141 seats in the 222-strong federal Parliament.
Mr Anwar has said he also has support from other smaller coalitions and parties for a total of 148 parliamentary seats, or a two-thirds majority.
The Anwar administration is burnishing its reformist credentials by reviewing projects and plans approved by past administrations. The PH alliance’s election manifesto also promised to fight corruption.
Mr Anwar on Friday said the government will continue to be consistent in its efforts to combat corruption.
“By celebrating and upholding integrity, it can propel Malaysia towards holistic excellence that will include the physical and spiritual aspects, values and identity,” he said in a Facebook post on Friday, which is also International Anti-Corruption Day.
Separately, Malaysia’s anti-graft agency said its investigation into the alleged misuse of Covid-19 era stimulus packages by the previous administration will focus on RM92.5 billion (S$28.4 billion) spent by the government.
This comes a day after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said that it had opened an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of RM600 billion of public funds for tackling the pandemic. The MACC said on Thursday that it would summon former premier Muhyiddin Yassin and two former Cabinet ministers who served in his administration for questioning over the case.
The other two are former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin and former finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, who now heads the International Trade and Industry Ministry in the new government. The funds for the pandemic included resources for vaccines, local media reports say.