The new cabinet ...hmmm... If I were to summarise the grouping, I would have to say its an Election Cabinet. The selection process was obviously guided by what they need to do to win the next General Election.
There were 6 Malaysian Chinese in the team, a surprise. As bad as MCA and Gerakan did last March and the subsequent by elections, if the selection was based on what each component party brought in, there should only be 2 Chinese ministers. However, Najib looked to the future, knowing fully well that the Malay vote will continued to be split with Pakatan-PAS proving to be a formidable force, and will still be one in the next General Election. As much as the Chinese vote has swung to the opposition, Barisan Nasional's best hope to secure the next General Election is to at least grab back some of the Chinese voters, hence explaining the move.
The move to appoint Koh Tsu Koon was smart because even though Koh was not a very charismatic or effective manager/ leader/ politician, he is a very smart person and would be much more effective working out strategies behind the scenes.
Its an Election Cabinet because of the recognition of politicians from East Malaysia in securing BN's position. Technically, if we split the votes between the peninsular and east Malaysia, Pakatan Rakyat would be governing the peninsular and BN should be just governing east Malaysia. It is critical that BN not lose any seat they have now in east Malaysia in order to win the next General Election.
The new team also confirms BN's belief that the MIC will continue to be a weak partner in the coalition as the anger and dissatisfaction by a very very large majority of Indians against the MIC is probably too big in gravity to undo over the next few years.
Other than that, the surprise was Mukhriz's appointment. The non appointment of KJ was widely expected, but this should be the beginning of a huge strife because you have the party shunning someone who was elected, and you promote someone who was defeated - take it another way, can you imagine Muhyiddin not being given the Deputy Prime Minister post despite winning the UMNO's deputy president post, and have that post being given to Muhammad Taib!!!?? That would have been inviting grave trouble into the party. So, why is the snub to KJ not so devastating???
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak keeps the Finance Ministry portfolio and appoints Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah as the Second Finance Minister.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister.
Datuk Mustapa Mohamed is the new Minister of International Trade and Industry and the Deputy Minister is Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir.
Others ministers include:
Transport - Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat
Science and Technology - Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili
Defence - Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Home - Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein
Rural and Regional Development - Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal
Housing and Local Government - Datuk Kong Cho Ha
Health - Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai
Tourism - Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen
Energy, Green Technology and Water - Datuk Peter Chin
Human Resources - Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam
Natural Resources and Environment - Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas
Women, Family and Community Development - Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
International Trade and Industry - Datuk Mustapa Mohamed
Higher Education - Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin
Information, Unity, Culture and Arts - Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
Agriculture - Datuk Noh Omar
Works - Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor
Domestic Trade - Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob
Sports - Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Foreign - Datuk Anifah Aman
Federal Territories - Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin
p/s photo: Misha Omar