Malaysia Cabinet Reshuffle: Who are the new ministers

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak appointed another six Chinese party leaders into his Cabinet on Wednesday.

Here's a look at the new appointees. 


The president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) will be Malaysia's new Transport Minister.

A former health minister, Datuk Seri Liow won the mandate to be MCA chief in December. Two months later, MCA voted to approve a resolution to accept government posts at all levels. This marked a reversal of its policy in previous years. The MCA had passed a resolution in 2011 and 2012 not to accept any government posts, if its performance in the 2013 elections was worse than the previous one. The party won 18 seats, down from 46, in the 2008 polls.


Datuk Seri Liow's deputy in MCA, Mr Wee will be a minister in the Prime Minister's department.

A former deputy minister for education and MCA youth chief, Mr Wee was in the spotlight last year, ahead of contesting the MCA polls with Datuk Seri Liow, when he reported the mysterious appearance of a drone - a hexacopter drone - on the balcony of his home, last August. And he alleged that his bungalow was being surreptitiously filmed by his political enemies hoping to find some evidence of financial irregularities.


MCA deputy and Gerakan chief, Mr Mah will be a minister in the Prime Minister's department.

His appointment was expected after his win in the Teluk Intan by-election earlier this month, which was a rude shock for the opposition. A lawyer who grew up in Teluk Intan, in Perak state, and a veteran of 20 years in Malaysian politics, he is a familiar face among locals of the town. Some observers believe that Mr Najib's announcement that he would promote Mr Mah to his Cabinet, helped him seal his win.


Mr Lee has been made deputy minister for international trade and industry.

He is among MCA's four vice-presidents, and the one who secured the most votes during MCA elections last year. A former MCA youth chief as well, Mr Lee has previously served as deputy minister of foreign affairs and later deputy home minister in Mr Najib's earlier Cabinet.


An MCA vice-president, he will be deputy finance minister, in the revamped Cabinet.

The son of former MCA chief, Dr Chua Soi Lek, Mr Chua has served as deputy agriculture minister previously. An accountant by profession, who took over the Labis parliamentary seat from his father in 2008, Mr Chua was among those described as representing the belligerant new face of MCA, after he charged the opposition-held Selangor government of corruption, saying it had bailed out a property company by buying swamp land at inflated prices. This was rebutted by state and company officials.


The MCA vice-president will be deputy minister for women and family development.

She contested the crucial Kajang by-election earlier this year, in a contest that was eventually won by Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, President, Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Ms Chew was formerly an MP and deputy minister for women, family and community development. She was also formerly the MCA women’s wing chief and was involved in attending to the relatives of victims of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane MH370.

Source: The Straits Times archives; The Star (Asia News Network)

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Liow Tiong Lai has been appointed the new Transport Minister, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on Wednesday.

His deputy Wee Ka Siong and Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong have been appointed Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department, Mr Najib said at a press conference.

Three MCA vice-presidents were appointed deputy ministers: Mr Lee Chee Leong, deputy minister for international trade and industry; Mr Chua Tee Yong, deputy finance minister; and Ms Chew Mei Fun, deputy minister for women and family development.

"Representatives from MCA are returning to represent the Chinese community, and representatives from Gerakan are returning to the Cabinet," Mr Najib said when unveiling the additions to the current line-up.

The transport minister post is traditionally held by MCA, but following the last general election, the party, then under the leadership of Dr Chua Soi Lek, decided not to take up government positions as a result of its dismal performance.

However, when Mr Liow took over the reins, an extraordinary general meeting reversed the decision not to accept Cabinet appointments.

Prior to Mr Liow's appointment, the transport portfolio was held temporarily by Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

The Malaysia Cabinet now has 34 ministers.

"We have to take into account the interests of all communities, that our promises to the people will be adhered to," said Mr Najib.

The Star newspaper quoted him as saying he did not plan to have such a large Cabinet, but joked that "no one has volunteered to leave Cabinet".

All the new appointees would be sworn in on June 27.

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HDefence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.