New Cabinet line-up: Six office-holders each from Malay, Indian communities

(Clockwise from top left) Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Dr Maliki Osman, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Dr Faishal Ibrahim, Ms Rahayu Mahzam, Mr Mohd Fahmi Aliman, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Ms Indranee Rajah, Mr S. Iswaran, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Mr K. Shanmugam and Dr J
(Clockwise from top left) Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Dr Maliki Osman, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Dr Faishal Ibrahim, Ms Rahayu Mahzam, Mr Mohd Fahmi Aliman, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Ms Indranee Rajah, Mr S. Iswaran, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Mr K. Shanmugam and Dr Janil Puthucheary.PHOTOS: ST FILE, MCI, PAP

The new line-up of political office-holders and mayors will include six members of the Malay community, two of them full ministers.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, who will give up his portfolio in Environment and Water Resources to take on Social and Family Development, was the only Malay minister for a while after Professor Yaacob Ibrahim stepped down from the Cabinet in April 2018.

But he will now be joined by Dr Maliki Osman, who has been promoted to Minister in the Prime Minister's Office as well as Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs. Dr Maliki is currently Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, announcing Dr Maliki's new appointments, said he had performed well and it was time for him to take on more responsibilities.

Two other Malay office-holders will also be promoted from tomorrow.

Minister of State Zaqy Mohamad will become a Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Defence. He will relinquish his National Development portfolio.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim will be promoted to Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development.

Dr Faishal is currently at the Education and Social and Family Development ministries.

Backbencher Rahayu Mahzam will be appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Health from Sept 1. Ms Rahayu, a lawyer, was first elected as an MP for Jurong GRC in 2015.

 
 
 
 

Meanwhile, Mr Mohd Fahmi Aliman will be the only new Malay MP to be appointed to office. He will be Mayor of South East District, a post previously held by Dr Maliki.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Masagos congratulated the Malay MPs on their promotions and acknowledged their hard work to better the lives of their community.

Dr Maliki pledged that the Malay MPs would help the community "ride through these very challenging times (to) emerge stronger and more confident as we achieve our vision of a community of success".

The new line-up also includes six members of the Indian community.

They are Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam; Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah, who remains Second Finance Minister but takes on a new role as Second National Development Minister; Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran; Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan; Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam; and Senior Minister of State for Health as well as Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 26, 2020, with the headline 'Six office-holders each from Malay, Indian communities'. Print Edition | Subscribe