PM Anwar Ibrahim’s cabinet sworn in at Kuala Lumpur ceremony

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 3 (EFE).- Malaysia’s new cabinet ministers were sworn in at a ceremony on Saturday after prime minister Anwar Ibrahim’s coalition won the November 19 elections.

The lawmakers took their oath in the Kuala Lumpur national palace a week after Anwar was sworn into office putting an end to a protracted political crisis that has gripped Malaysia for over two years.

The new PM, who has returned to politics after spending years in prison on accusations of sodomy and abuse of power, put together a coalition government with the support of other political blocs following one of the hardest-fought elections in Malaysia’s history.

Anwar has announced that he will also head the finance ministry, a position he previously held from 1991 to 1998 when he was sacked by then-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad over disagreements over how to handle the economic crisis.

The PM has appointed Ahmad Zahid, chairman of the right-wing Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, and Fadillah Yusof a member of the Gabungan Sarawak (GPS) alliance, as deputy prime ministers.

Ahmad will also head the rural and regional development portfolio, while Fadillah will run the plantations and commodities portfolio.

MP Anthony Lokem, of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) party, has been named transport minister, a position that he had already held between 2018 and 2020 when his party was in power.

The new cabinet has been slimmed down from the previous 32 ministries to 28.

Anwar’s government has several new faces, including the deputy chairman of his party, Rafizi Ramli, who has been appointed economy minister.

All 28 ministers were sworn in on Saturday in groups of six before the Malaysian King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah.

The recent elections mark the end of a political era in Malaysia, governed until 2018 by the UMNO, whose influence has waned mainly due to corruption scandals involving its leaders.

Anwar came close to leading the country after the PH’s victory in the 2018 elections under an agreement with then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad that he would hand over the post to him.

However, Mahathir’s resignation in 2020 sparked a political crisis in the country that is expected to end with Anwar’s appointment.EFE


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