Brunei's Sultan announces early Cabinet reshuffle, first female minister appointed

Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (left) announced a new Cabinet, including the country's first female minister, Education Minister Hajah Romaizah. PHOTOS: AFP, BORNEO BULLETIN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (XINHUA) - Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced an early reshuffle of Cabinet ministers on Tuesday (June 7) in a special speech broadcast nationwide.

Effective from Tuesday, the new Cabinet will serve for a term of four years.

Ms Hajah Romaizah was appointed as the minister of education, becoming the first female minister ever in the Brunei government.

Senior ministers stepped down, including Minister of Home Affairs Haji Awang Abu Bakar, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Haji Ali, and Minister of Development Haji Suhaimi.

The Sultan himself retains the top posts as the country's prime minister, minister of foreign affairs, minister of defence and minister of finance and economy.

Several old faces will continue to serve in the new Cabinet, with their respective assignment unchanged. These include Minister of Religious Affairs Haji Awang Badaruddin, Second Minister of Finance and Economy and Minister at the Prime Minister's Office Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Haji Erywan, and Minister of Health Haji Md Isham.

While announcing the new line-up with new ministers and deputy ministers, the Sultan reiterated that the appointments are a trust that must be carried out with full loyalty and responsibility.

The move of the early Cabinet shake-up aims to inject more vitality and energy into the administration system while maintaining stability in major fields of domestic and foreign affairs, a local media analyst who declined to be named told Xinhua.

Brunei's government was last reshuffled in January 2018 with a five-year term, when several veteran ministers were replaced.

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