KUALA LUMPUR: Ten new faces are featured in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration which comprises 28 ministers and 40 deputy ministers.
Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon was appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Unity and Performance Management.
The 60-year-old former Penang chief minister holds a degree in physics from Princeton University, a PhD in Economics and Sociology Education from the University of Chicago and was also a Fullbright Fellow at Stanford University.
His foray into politics started when he joined Gerakan, a member of the Barisan Nasional coalition in 1982. By 1991 he was the Barisan Nasional (BN) Penang chairman. He was Gerakan vice-president from 1991 until 2007 when he became the acting president of the party.
In 1990, he was appointed Penang’s third chief minister and became the youngest to hold the post in the state. He held the post for 18 years before stepping down last year.
Former director of the Malaysian Armed Forces religious corps (Kagat) Major-Gen (R) Datuk Dr Jamil Khir Baharum was also appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, in charge of Islamic affairs.
The Kedah-born 48-year-old is a regular face on RTM1’s religious talk show, Forum Perdana Ehwal Islam which airs every Thursday night.
Jamil Khir, who is currently pursuing his doctorate at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, served the Armed Forces for 23 years and is also fluent in Arabic.
Another new face is Jerlun member of parliament (MP) Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir who was made the International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister.
His appointment was probably expected by some as speculation of him being given a ministerial position was rife after he lost the contest for Umno Youth chief to Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin in the recently-concluded Umno election, despite being the clear favourite.
Mukhriz, 44, started his political journey in 2004 as the Kubang Pasu Umno member, after his father, Dr Mahathir, retired from premiership.
The soft-spoken MP is also actively involved in humanitarian missions with Aman Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the appointment of Umno Youth deputy head Datuk Razali Ibrahim as the Youth and Sports
Deputy Minister was in line with the ministry’s aim to attract more youths to support the government’s agenda.
The 39-year-old law graduate ventured into politics only five years ago when he won the Muar parliamentary seat in the 11th general election in 2004.
He managed to hold on to the seat in the following election when many other BN candidates failed to do so at the time.
Razali is also Malaysian Film Development Corporation (Finas) chairman and sits in the Special Committee on Corruption of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Meanwhile, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Najmuddin Raja Zainal Abidin, 56, who was sworn in as a Senator yesterday is the new Federal Territories Minister.
His appointment has been thought of as timely by many. Raja Nong Chik, 56, who is the Lembah Pantai Umno head, is said to have a strong background and vast experience in the economics and industrial sector.
Another new face is Batu Pahat MP and former Senator Dr Puad Zarkashi, who was appointed Deputy Minister of Education.
The Umno member also made it to the Umno supreme council’s list for the first time in the party elections in March.
Also new is Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan, who was made Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Ahmad, 43, is BN Backbenchers Club information head and has been known to be quite vocal in parliament.
Papar MP and new Puteri Umno chief Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shirlin is now the Deputy Health Minister.
MCA’s secretary-general Datuk Lee Chee Leong who is also the Kampar MP is now one of two deputy ministers for the Foreign Ministry.
Capping off the list is Senator Heng Seai Kie who is also from MCA and is now one of the two deputy ministers for the Communications, Arts and Culture Ministry.
Source : Bernama