Najib Cabinet – dominated by old faces, old ideas and old approach rejected by Malaysians in the March 8 political tsunami and two Bukit by-elections

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak claims that his cabinet announced yesterday is not only a new team with a new face, but also a new approach to administer the country better in a more responsible and transparent manner that focuses on the people.

This is not the perception and reaction of the Malaysian public who find the Najib Cabinet dominated by old faces, old ideas and old approach rejected by Malaysians in the March 8 political tsunami last year and the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections on Tuesday.

Most of the media headlines screamed “28 Ministers, 40 Deputy Ministers” when actually it should be “29 Ministers, 40 Deputy Ministers”.

How could Najib, with his new slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” make such a small yet colossal mistake?

Has Malaysian educational standards fallen so low after five years of Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein as Education Minister, that the government is incapable of the most simple calculations?

What “Performance Now” when the Najib premiership cannot even count whether there are 28 or 29 Ministers in the Cabinet?

Malaysians were promised a “lean” Cabinet but Najib has 29 Ministers, only two less than the 31 Ministers of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when the fifth Malaysian Prime Minister submitted his resignation to the Yang di Pertuan Agong last Thursday and two more than the last Cabinet appointed by the fourth Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad after the 1999 general elections!

If Najib is serious about a lean and smart Cabinet, he should have trimmed the Cabinet by one third to have not more than 20 Ministers when in contrast, the United Kingdom has a Cabinet of 23 full-rank Ministers, Australia a Cabinet of 20 Ministers and France 17 Ministers.

The eight ministers dropped by Najib are Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar (Home); Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Tourism), Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib (Rural and Regional Development), Senator Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz (Prime Minister’s Department), Datuk Ong Ka Chuan (Housing and Local Government), Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed (Works), Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique (Federal Territories) and Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs).

Instead, Najib appointed seven new Ministers, viz: Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon(Prime Minister’s Department), Maj-Gen Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom (Prime Minister’s Department), Datuk Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah (Second Finance Minister), Umno Wanita chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (Women, Family and Community Development), Datuk Anifah Aman (Foreign), Lembah Pantai Umno division chief Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin (Federal Territories) and MCA Vice President Datuk Kong Cho Ha (Housing and Local Government).

The Najib Cabinet makes history as the first Malaysian Cabinet with the most number of “political rejects”, who had been defeated in the general election last year and have to be brought back to Parliament through the “back door” of the Senate – – namely Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil as Ministers Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Datuk Dr. Awang Adek Hussin as Deputy Ministers.

This does not speak well for the government’s commitment to accountability and democracy.

The Najib Cabinet is not a forward-looking and visionary Cabinet which inspires Malaysians with hope and confidence that it could rally Malaysians to face the worst global economic risis in a century or unite Malaysians with a common national purpose with Umno leaders increasingly resorting to the divisive and irresponsible politics of 3Rs – race, religion and royalty – as demonstrated by the recent Umno by-election campaigning in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau.

What can Tsu Koon do as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Unity and Performance Management to rein in the Umno ultras, like Ahmad Ismail of “Chinese are squatters” infamy?

Can he really check the “Little Napoleons” and “Big Napoleons” in the civil service, apart from the “half-past six” Ministers, when his record as an effective Penang Chief Minister in the past 18 years had been so dismal as to result in Gerakan’s total rejection in last year’s general elections?

Najib talked about introducing key performance indicators (PKI) as a six-monthly requirement for the Cabinet Ministers. Will there be a six-monthly PKI for the Prime Minister and dare Tsu Koon conduct it?

Is Tsu Koon prepared to publicly admit that Najib had chalked up several failures in his first week alone as Prime Minister to measure up to Najib’s new slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”?

  1. #1 by Godfather on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 10:54 am

    Koh Tsu Koon is probably the only one in the new cabinet who understands what KPI stands for, but if the rest are all in the dark, what is the use of imposing KPIs on all ministries ? Some of us remember that when Bodohwi first came to power 5 years ago, he and Nor Mohamed made a big fuss about imposing KPIs on all GLCs. Nothing came out of it, and it will be the same as the imposition of KPIs on all ministries. What can the government do ? Tell the world that certain ministries have failed their KPIs ? Like everything else in Bolehland, things will be swept under the carpet,and they will hope that all will be forgotten.

    PR must now be pro-active and keep demanding that not only the KPIs must be set or benchmarked, but the results made known to the public. Put them on notice that we are watching.

  2. #2 by Godfather on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:00 am

    On the size of the cabinet, we are all flabbergasted that the mainstream press continues to make sycophantic comments like “streamlined cabinet” and “leaner cabinet” and “smaller cabinet” without understanding that in terms of costs, the direct costs of maintaining Najib’s cabinet is unlikely to be any lower than those of Badawi’s cabinet.

    In truth, Najib has little choice in the size or shape of the cabinet. He has to satisfy MCA, Gerakan and MIC. He has to satisfy the BN parties in Sabah and Sarawak. He has to satisfy Mamakthir. Equally damaging, he has to satisfy his own den of thieves. The only faction he could afford to sideline is the Badawi faction.

    Nothing changes within BN, which is good for us. This cabinet will last a maximum of 4 years, after which they will all go seat in the Opposition benches.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:01 am

    sorry typo in last line – “sit in the Opposition…”

  4. #4 by -ec- on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:10 am

    if those rejected politicians could not even convince the people of their contested constituencies to vote them, are they capable of serving all rakyat? ? ? this is not tasking the right person to the right job!

    this is not the cabinet of 1Malaysia, but a every-BN-component-party-happy cabinet.

    how long can this cabinet last? let’s see.

  5. #5 by voice on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:13 am

    I notice there’s a bunch of rubbish at the backbencher, e.g. puad from batu pahat appointed into the cabinet

  6. #6 by Outcasts on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:30 am

    Malaysian politics is all about how to slice the cake rather than improving the quality of the cake. :P

  7. #7 by chengho on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:31 am

    The Rakyat is waiting for PR’s shadow cabinet. Let us see what kind of qualities PR have. To appoint dcm of Penang also, LGE has to wait for Anwar Q. Everything u do or have is all dependent on Anwar, your puppet master…

    ok…ok…i can wait until this evening, since PR do not have shadow like the count of dracula , so cannot do it during day time..

  8. #8 by taiking on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:32 am

    Look it is leaner ok. It is leaner because pm said so. And that is it. Ok. Anymore question, you will be protected under isa. All of you. He can easily award a gigantic isa protection complex contract to anyone of his ever-ready and ever-willing cronies. With C4 and ready-to-die officers in blue the complex will always have vacancies to protect more people.

  9. #9 by Godfather on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:41 am

    Why should we teach them to do the right thing ? A few hints here and there should be enough. If we say too much, they won’t understand anyway, just like the clown chengho. Let them dig their own grave. Let us roll about with laughter each time this “lean” cabinet demonstrates their own incompetence and failures.

    Just watch them like a hawk. Let it be recorded that Najib imposes KPIs on all ministries to be reviewed every 6 months.

  10. #10 by pakualakurau on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:42 am

    Accountability? democracy? One Malaysia???????
    1. Send khir Koyak and wife balkis to jail.
    2. Send IGP to jail for Kugan death.
    3. Pay back euro 110 mio back to Raykat Malaysia.
    4. Dissolve perak assembly and applogise to Perekian (i being perakian will consider whether to accept it)
    5. Send racist mahathir to jail.
    6. Change head of MACC
    7. etc etc etc
    Than we will only looking at the KPI. What a mess, Malaysia

  11. #11 by ch on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:47 am

    Dear All,

    We should also take into consideration of the pressure that Dato Seri Najib is under prior to working out his Cabinet. He has to satisfy other component parties in the Barisan Nasional as well as those UMNO warlords. One will probably ponder as to why those who have lost in the General Election or even in their respective internal party elections are adamant in getting a slot in the Cabinet. Perhaps, their respective party leaders wanted them to be ministers and deputy ministers so as to fortify and consolidate power. For example, MCA, out in the blue, clamoured for the Deputy PMII post but in actual fact they were just trying to keep those 4 ministerial positions as Najib wanted to slice them down to 3. This is consistent to my observation that politicians will only say things which only benefit themselves and no one else. I, personally feel that rejected leaders should make way for those who had been elected and favoured. They should not continue to be stumbling blocks for new ideas to breathe into the system.

    Rejected aspirant leaders like Mukhriz, Chew Mei Fun and a host of others should set example by turning down the respective posts given to them. They should take a page out from the action taken by Sharir Abdul Samad.

    The current economy outlook requires bold measures from our government and the new installed ministers particularly finance, trade and other economically related ministers must react and implement remedial actions fast so as to shelter our economy from the real economic after shocks. The global financial crisis is tearing through our local economy, hitting businesses hard and ripping away countless of jobs. The newly cabinet, which will uphold transparency should expose the actual unemployment data which will bring about long-lasting social complications if not handled properly by the government. Businesses of mighty giants like AIG, Citigroup, GM and Lehman Brothers had been severely rocked as a result of lacking in full transparency and the same fate will eventually hit Malaysia.

  12. #12 by rogonx on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 12:34 pm

    I believe things will change to better. I also doubt about Pakatan’s line up, as most of Pakatan leaders has no experience in managing government work.

    I only believe to Dato Seri Anwar’s capability but not to most of Pakatan other leaders.

    Most of them are good in finding fault. But not into management.

    For example, Nizar. If he is good then there shouldnt be any fault occur’s in his cabinet.

    Same goes to the so called honourable Mr Lim Guan Eng. There shouldn’t be any dispute towards Fairuz. Im wondering why??

    Anyway, should Pakatan wins..should Anwar be the leader? Or should Lim Kit Siang be the leader? Well I prefer Anwar and second no body..Perhaps Nik Aziz will do

  13. #13 by ALLAN THAM on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 12:37 pm

    Most of the minister from MCA & Gerakan are rejected by people. Even UMNO also knee down on the unwanted old hat as what Zaid has just say.

  14. #14 by ALLAN THAM on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 12:39 pm

    Hi ch, do you think Chew will reject? She has unemployed for so long, she also want to eat what?

  15. #15 by taiking on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 12:56 pm

    I recall a certain university in scotland (could not quite remember which one – is it aberdeen or edinburgh) years ago started a dna project. Naturally students volunteered. After sometime a decision was made to discontinue the project because an alarming number of students discovered through the project that they are not biological children of their respective parent(s). And what has this damned thing got to do with LKS’s blog under this thread? Dont know. Just thought that … well … may be the KPI too would be discontinued like the dna project.

  16. #16 by cintanegara on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:15 pm

    It appears that a loving Father who is still not satisfied until his son gets the post of deputy prime minister II…I think he is jealous of Dr Koh’s success…..Dr Koh is a truly leader of all races…Unlike the present CM….

  17. #17 by monsterball on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:18 pm

    You can read from the Cabinet line ups…….
    1. UMNO MCA Gerakan will continue their play race and religion ……divide and rule politics. Those will be the future BN candidates for 13th GE.
    Whether qualified or not to hold the said ministerial post….not important. For example..what does that Shabery Cheek who debated Anwar with a foaming mouth.. .knows anything about Sports? Was he an established sport-man before? What medals did he won for Malaysian glory? Sports is doomed to go down.
    2..Then that lady…Dr. Ng Yen Yen…on Tourism..what a joke! This Doc…maybe ..good to inspect lonkangs and fill in potholes.
    3.. .Putting Nazri under control…in the PM’s Dept…in charge of Law…..his big mouth is needed in Parliament.
    4… Koh Tsu khoon is the classic example…if you know how to carry UMNO’s have a future with UMNO. ….plus Gerakan must be kept alive….to stand for 13th GE.
    7.. Useless to talk about 4 MCA ministers with 7 Deputies..the biggest UMNO balls carriers…the most hated part by vast Chinese Malaysians. UMNO allocating most seats to MCA is an election trap for Chinese voters. This is the most MCA ministerial posts ever given by UMNO…with the worst election result ever recorded by MCA. You go and figure put the logic.
    8..MIC..V.Subramaniam….Who is he? But that is a big big insult to Samy Vellu.
    9… The drop outs..and few elected…like Khairy .Samy Vellu not given a Ministerial posts is clearly saying UMNO …and those are sacrificial lambs to cover up the leader of the pack..Najib and Muhyddin.
    10.. With Muhkriz in…..Mahathir will say….all good things…praising Najib.
    UMNO keep saying it is traditional to appoint elected Presidents of each group/party .. to be ministers.
    They make the rules…they break it…..all OK.
    If any Malaysian thinks this is a line up to respect Malaysians wishes….they should have their brains examined.
    This is also the sign….UMNO just talk….no change at all.

  18. #18 by wanderer on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:19 pm

    All blooming “OLD ENGINES” savage from the junkyard….. capable of making a lot of noises without alow grade performances.
    In the kingdom of the blinds, the one eyed is the king!

  19. #19 by wanderer on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:21 pm

    sorry typo error; with low grade performances…

  20. #20 by monsterball on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:22 pm

    hahahahaha….Everytime I read cintanegara’s comments…he is a real idiotic clown.
    He said….Koh Tsu khoon is a leader for all races…. yet ignored…Koh was voted out by all races in Penang.
    Why talk cock all the time.

  21. #21 by LG on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:28 pm

    Dear LKS,

    KPIs are good for performance evaluation however the datas in the KPIs can be easily changed to reflect good performance and results. This is rampantly practised by the management of most companies in order to project good results to their HQ, company board or others to save their XXX, …..

    Another thing certain KPIs may not be relevant. Thus concerning KPIs can we suggest in the Parliament to have an independent group or a group of BN, PR reps. and private industry specialists to (1) check the relevancy of the types of KPis used and their methodology of collecting datas (2) audit and validate the KPIs results monthly (3) to give their findings and recommendations.

    Yes, the PM and others can review them half yearly for evaluation of their performance and to take corrective actions, however that is a different issue.

    What is more important is to have accurate and relevant KPIs and also to project that new administration is more transparent and really mean business in gearing to national development and success not just blaring out of using KPIs.


  22. #22 by sheriff singh on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:37 pm

    Why is Raja Nong Chik, only an UMNO Division head, more powerful than Mukriz and the Deputy UMNO Youth leader? Why is he, basically a nobody, made a full Minister when the other two are only Deputies?

    This Raja Nong Chik is not to be confused with the other older Raja Nong Chik who passed away some years ago. This fellow is a different Nong Chik.

    But why is his star shining, leaping over everybody else, anybody knows?

  23. #23 by clearwater on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:48 pm

    Six monthly KPI reviews? That often? Can such frequent reviews be relevant or necessary? As a voter, I am allowed 5 yearly reviews of the government’s performance. Can that be made more frequent, say every 3 years?

  24. #24 by k1980 on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:51 pm

    To the approx 120 BN MPs who won the elections on 8.3.2008 but are not appointed into the cabinet, please ponder this: Why are mothersuckers who lost in the GE able to make it into the cabinet? It’s like giving scholarships to STPM failures while ignoring those who scored in that exam

  25. #25 by ctc537 on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:52 pm

    There is not much to expect from this Najib administration as BN component parties are not very united although they like to deny to the contrary. All the important posts are still held by UMNO – Finance 1 & 2, Education, International Trade & Industry, and Home.
    The right thing PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak did is keeping Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin and Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin out of his Cabinet.

  26. #26 by dawsheng on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 1:58 pm

    “Most of the media headlines screamed “28 Ministers, 40 Deputy Ministers” when actually it should be “29 Ministers, 40 Deputy Ministers”.

    How could Najib, with his new slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” make such a small yet colossal mistake?”

    Aiya Uncle Kit, this is a small mistake, only different by one leh! During Abdullah’s time, he totally forgot how many ministry he have, actually, it’s a lot of improvement oledi.

  27. #27 by comingto50 on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 2:06 pm


    Whatever is going now I hope DAP, PKR and PAS are strengthening their ties and work out strategies. Weed out any opportunist idiots. Don’t wait till last minute.

    Whatever is put up by Najib or MM we do not give a sh*t. Nothing will come out for the good of the rakyat. Everything they do will be for themselves first and if any that’s leftover may drip down to the rakyat.

  28. #28 by sheriff singh on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 2:09 pm

    Its neither a “lean” Cabinet nor a “mean” Cabinet. I kinda think its more like a “Mr. Bean” Cabinet. But we are all more interested in a “clean” Cabinet.

    Mahathir labelled Pak Lah’s Cabinet as “half-past-six” but I think Najib’s Cabinet is more like “six-and-a-half”. Same-same.

  29. #29 by ekans on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 2:33 pm

    On 10 April 2009 at 11:31.53, chengho said:
    The Rakyat is waiting for PR’s shadow cabinet. Let us see what kind of qualities PR have. To appoint dcm of Penang also, LGE has to wait for Anwar Q. Everything u do or have is all dependent on Anwar, your puppet master…

    I guess DAP does not want to act like a dominant party (just like what UMNO is doing in its BN) by simply appointing a new Penang DCM1, without first consulting with PKR and before making a collective decision that is agreeable to all parties involved.

  30. #30 by frankyapp on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 2:39 pm

    Well guys,We always say ;let’s topple the umno/bn government and that of course,we will do it in the 13th general election.But on the same breath we shouldn’t be naive as to teach these badies to fish cause at the end of the day,we may have none.This saying is quite similar to the age old chinese ” don’t wake up your enemy to urinate in the night “. We now know NR and his new cabinet menbers are liken to some bad apples in the bag,my suggestion to you guys is let it be there as it is,and eventually it will rod the whole system. The umno/bn system of governance will naturally perish even before the 13th GE. The natural process ,rather than the revolutionary one is the best medicine to finish or terminate the ummno/bn government .

  31. #31 by ekans on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 2:53 pm

    On 9/4/2009 at 13:15.23, cintanegara said:
    It appears that a loving Father who is still not satisfied until his son gets the post of deputy prime minister II…

    Yes, I think you may have correctly anticipated the hidden agenda of your hero, the old doctor. As I’ve earlier mentioned elsewhere before, it’s no surprise that not long after the old doctor had returned to the dominant party, his son has been given a place in the Pekan MP’s new cabinet, which is likely the beginning of a journey to the post of DPM or even PM…

    On 9/4/2009 at 13:15.23, cintanegara said:
    I think he is jealous of Dr Koh’s success…..Dr Koh is a truly leader of all races…Unlike the present CM….

    Are you sure?
    After the photos of this PGRM’s boss got torn up by followers of that dominant party’s Bukit Bendera boss who are supposed to be his political allies?
    Who wants to be envious of such negative treatment by one’s own political allies?

  32. #32 by monsterball on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 3:33 pm

    Najib has create history again….having the largest amount of cabinet ministers and deputies.
    This is clear sign….Najib needs more protections….even from Mahathir…by appointing his loosing son a Deputy…ignoring the victor which Mahathir hate most.
    Double standards is UMNO BARU way of life…all the way…with their own kind too.
    UMNO BARU have lost whatever little creditability and dignity…left.
    I hope very commentator will write “UMNO BARU” or say
    UMNO BARU” to make sure young voters know…the real UMNO is dead…killed by Mahathir.
    Let them choose…..Tunku Abdul Rahman or Mahathir they will love forever and ever.
    But Mahathir was smart enough to say…he does not care to be loved or respected at all….which means…go to hell with People’s Power.
    Not sooner than having said that…he appealed to Malaysians with a open letter to support him.
    Trace this man’s character….which UMNO BARU members call him the Messiah.
    That’s blasphemy!!! But than UMNO BARU guys are above Allah too.

  33. #33 by kevchua on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 9:43 pm

    Key Performance Index (Indicator) is used to assess the performance of each individual based on a specified set of criteria to ensure objectives are achieved. How Dr Koh is gonna keep track of each minister’s performance to ensure their KPIs are met is a question mark. He himself has his own KPI to fulfill, so does the our new PM. In addition, every one’s KPI would be extracted from the main KPI – the Prime Minister’s, which means if one fails to achieve a certain task in his KPI, his ministry’s and the PM’s KPI will not be fulfilled.

    The place where I work is now doing KPI, and I can assure you that it’s hard work, and lazy bums who are used to laidback lifestyle would not be able to cope; consequently affected the KPI of his own department & ministry.

  34. #34 by Taxidriver on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 10:52 pm

    UMNO is only good at coming up with beautiful slogans which mean nothing but mearly remain slogans.

    Mahatir’s : Bersih Cekap ……. Mana Ada?
    Abdullah’s: Cemerlang Gembilang ……Temberang!!
    Najib’s : 1 Malaysia People First … Performance Nay

  35. #35 by Taxidriver on Friday, 10 April 2009 - 11:12 pm

    typo error: merely, not mearly

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