Eight ministers under previous administration were dropped when Datuk Seri Najib Razak anounced his Cabinet today. Notable absentees were Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Azalina and Muhammad Taib.
Syed Hamid, 65, who was previously Home Minister, had been in the cabinet for 19 years since 1990 after being appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (in charge of the judiciary). Five years later, he was appointed Defence Minister before becoming Foreign Minister for nine years from 1999.
Azalina joined the Cabinet in 2004 as Youth and Sports Minister and her last portfolio was Tourism Minister. Azalina is still under investigation by MACC for corruption, thus making it easier for Najib to just dropped her out.
Other notable faces not included in the new Cabinet line-up were former Works Minister Datuk Ir Mohd Zin Mohamed, former Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique, former Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhamad Taib, former Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Amirsham A.Aziz.
Former Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad had announced his intention to resign after losing in the party election for a Supreme Council seat last month.
Najib also said the “time is over for the government knew best” and dubbed his new Cabinet as the people’s Cabinet.
“This is our line-up and our team which reflects Malaysia’s plural society,” he said when announcing the cabinet list at the Prime Minister’s Department, which was carried live on national television.
The new cabinet also a reflection of the slogan “One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” adopted by Najib’s administration.