Malaysian PM unveils new cabinet

Updated: 2008-03-18 12:48

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Tuesday formally unveiled the lineup of his new cabinet.  

According to the Cabinet list announced by Badawi at Putrajaya, administrative center of the Malaysian Federal government, some major members still remained.

Cultural, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim now becomes Foreign Minister.

However, more than half of the Cabinet members are new faces, including Zaid Ibrahim as minister in Prime Minister's Department.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Ong Tee Keat now assumes the post of Transport Minister.

In the new lineup unveiled, the number of ministries are cut down to 27, with 17 ministers retained with five of them in their old portfolios.

Prime Minister Badawi himself also still held the post of Finance Minister and Nor Mohamed Yakcop remained as second finance minister.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak also retained the post of Defense Minister and Former Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar is transferred to chair the Home Affairs Ministry.

Former Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Hj Muhyiddin Yassin has been appointed Minister Of International Trade And Industry replacing long-time minister Rafidah Aziz, who has been dropped from the Cabinet.

Badawi, 68, was sworn in as Malaysian Prime Minister for a new five-year term in office on March 10, two days after his ruling coalition Barisan Nasional, or National Front, won 140 of the 222 parliamentary seats on generation election day on March 8.

The National Front coalition, consisted of 14 parties, has ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957.

The new administration line-up was drawn up based on the " spirit of power-sharing and camaraderie of the Barisan Nasional (BN)", and it was capable of implementing the government agenda more effectively, Badawi said.

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