Tuesday, 02 Jun 2020

Mahathir names three Cabinet ministers, sets up council of elders

Kuala Lumpur, May 12 : Newly-elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday named three ministers in his "small Cabinet" and announced the establishment of a "council of elders" to advise the government, taking the first step in governing the country.

The three new ministers -- all leaders of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition parties -- were Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and Minister of Home Affairs Muhyiddin Yassin, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mahathir announced the appointments after a meeting attended by key PH leaders.

The three names fell short of his earlier promise to announce 10 ministers and were much fewer than the previous number of over 25.

Mahathir, admitting that "many of us have less or no experience regarding a government", said some expertise of those with knowledge or previous knowledge of any administration needed to be tapped.

He said a special team of eminent persons, called the "council of elders", was formed to advise the government on economic and financial matters during the transitional period.

The council included former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, former Central Bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former national oil firm Petronas CEO Hassan Merican, renowned billionaire Robert Kuok Hock Nien and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, an economist.

According to Mahathir, the team will assist in shaping up policies and programmes to achieve the 100-day promise that PH had made to the people.

(IANS | 2 years ago)