KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian minister Azalina Othman Said has fended off criticism over the size of Prime Minister Najib Razak's Cabinet, saying the Cabinet size is determined based on current needs and that such decisions are the prerogative of the premier.
Datuk Seri Azalina, who is the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said the size of the current Cabinet should not be compared to previous administrations as the country was developing at a rapid rate.
"Each minister has a specific portfolio, and the appointment of ministers and deputy ministers for each ministry is made to suit their current needs and expectations," she said in a written reply to a question from opposition Democratic Action Party MP Ngeh Koo Ham in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 24).
Ngeh had asked Najib to state why he needed so many ministers and deputy ministers in his Cabinet in comparison to his predecessors.
"In the current world without borders, many challenges and responsibilities have to be undertaken by the Government to ensure Malaysia remains peaceful and harmonious.
"Therefore, the ministers and deputy ministers are tasked with their respective portfolios to ensure all the Government's plans and agendas are implemented effectively, and subsequently benefit the people," added Azalina.
There are currently 37 ministers and 32 deputy ministers in the Cabinet.