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The Inspired Cabinet February 21, 2006

Posted by Tim in Malaysia.

PM Abdullah Badawi has finally received the inspiration he needed to form a new Cabinet. And what a disappointing one it is! Out of 72 ministers and deputy ministers a total of four were dropped (including Higher Education Minister Dr Shafie Salleh), with the rest of the appointments akin to a game of musical chairs. Noh Omar, the ex-Deputy Home Affairs Minister infamous for his “kalau you tak suka you keluar dari Malaysia” remark, became the new Deputy Education Minister. The other “appointments” saw ministers being reassigned within the Cabinet.

Rafidah Aziz was retained, surviving the Approved Permits (AP) controversy, immediately claiming God’s mandate and declaring she is still in charge of APs (or isn’t she?).

Joceline Tan of The Star delivered the requisite fawning analysis with the following whopper:

Those trying to understand the Prime Minister’s rationale behind the
changes must remember that his decisions are not solely based on qualifications, ability and performance.

Party politics is about compromise and consensus and he has to accommodate the interests not only of his own party but that of the component parties who worked together to bring him the biggest mandate ever won by a prime minister in the general election.

These are astonishing insights indeed, considering that Abdullah also announced a new committee to monitor his Cabinet’s performance (has he lost faith in them already?). Naturally, this panel is anonymous and its findings are unlikely to be made public.

Abdullah’s huge mandate in the previous polls was based on his promises of reform. So far he has not delivered. Now his next chance is the impending Ninth Malaysia Plan. Keep your fingers crossed people!



1. yeohjo - February 23, 2006

malaysian politics frustrates me.

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