Putra Jaya: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Wednesday chaired the first Cabinet meeting after the reshuffle with the appointment of several new Ministers on Tuesday.
The meeting, that started at about 2.30pm at Perdana Putra here, saw cheerful Ministers shaking hands and congratulating each other before proceeding into the meeting room.
The six new Cabinet members, namely Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (Natural Resources and Environment Minister) and Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (Education Minister), attended the meeting.
Also attending the meeting were Senator Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Mohd Salleh Tun Said Keruak (Communication and Multimedia Minister), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Minister in Prime Minister’s Department) and Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (Second International Trade and Industry Minister).
All of them were photographed individually by the Prime Minister’s Office as well as Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM).
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau did not attend the meeting. He is reportedly in Italy.
It was the first Cabinet meeting for the four except for two others, namely Azalina, who had held the post of Youth and Sports Minister and Tourism Minister, while Ong had been the Housing and Local Government Minister until 2009.
On Tuesday, Najib announced the new Cabinet line-up at a press conference, dropping Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Deputy Prime Minister.
He was replaced by Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who also retains his Home Ministry portfolio.
Najib said the new Cabinet must act as one solid team to ensure that the Government has the strength and unity to focus on its development plans for Malaysia and to face the current challenges.
He said he believed that the new Cabinet would drive forward the Government’s ability to deliver on the promises made to the people in the last general election, in 2013.
“Following the democratic mandate given to the Barisan Nasional in the 2013 general election, it is my duty to ensure that the Government delivers on Malaysia’s transformation programme.
“Nothing is more important than the needs of Malaysia and the people – I will always put their interests above all others,” he said in a post on his Facebook page, Wednesday.
Najib expressed confidence that, in time, the new Cabinet would increase public confidence in the Government and the Barisan Nasional ahead of the 14th general election, due in 2018.
Najib said members of the Cabinet should not air their differences in an open forum that could affect public opinion against the Government and Malaysia.
“It is contrary to the concept of collective responsibility that is the foundation of Cabinet Government.
“I welcome vigorous debate, and accept and tolerate criticism or even dissent. However, this process should take place in Cabinet as part of the decision-making process,” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, the Barisan Nasional was founded on the principle of unity that is the hallmark of this nation and the recipe for future success.