KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — Seven individuals who were appointed as new ministers following the Cabinet reshuffle today have high education and are not alien to government administration and serving the people.
They are Datuk Hamzah Zainudin who was given the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism portfolio; Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (Natural Resources and Environment); Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (Education), Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau (Science, Technology and Innovation), Senator Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Salleh Said Keruak (Communication and Multimedia), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Prime Minister’s Department) and Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (International Trade and Industry II).
Mohd Salleh, Tangau, Hamzah, Wan Junaidi and Mahdzir are joining the Cabinet for the first time while Azalina and Ong are rejoining it.
Mohd Salleh, 58, a Bajau, who resigned as the Speaker of the Sabah State Assembly to take up the federal ministerial post, is also Sabah Umno deputy chief and United Sabah Bumiputera Organisation (USBO) president.
He holds a degree in Political Science from the Simon Fraser University, Canada and a masters and a doctorate in governmental and political studies from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and was Chief Minister of Sabah at the age of 37. He held the post from 1994 to 1996.
From Kota Belud, Sabah, Mohd Salleh started to dabble in politics after joining Umno in 1991 and was appointed as Kota Belud Umno Division chief in 1992. He became the Kota Belud Member of Parliament for three terms from 1995.
Tangau, 57, is a five-term Tuaran Member of Parliament in Sabah, from 1999 till present.
Born in Kampung Lokos, Kiulu, Tuaran, Sabah on March 13, 1958, Tangau was a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member from 2013 and is the president of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO).
Tangau holds a Bachelor in Forestry from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (now Universiti Putra Malaysia) in 1983 before obtaining a Masters in Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), Manila Philippines in 1990.
Fourth among 14 siblings, he married Dr Jaina Sintian in 1991. The couple has five children, four girls and a boy.
Azalina is no stranger to the Cabinet as she was the first woman to be appointed Youth and Sports Minister (2004-2008) before becoming Tourism Minister (2008-2009). She was holding the post of Malaysian National Film Development Corporation chairman when she was enlisted to the new Cabinet line-up.
Azalina, 52, who has not held a Cabinet post for six years, was born in Johor Baru and holds a Masters in Law from the London School of Economics.
Joining politics in 1990, Azalina successfully retained her post as Member of Parliament for Pengerang, Johor since the 11th General Election (PRU-11), namely, from 2004 until today.
Ong, 61, the Member of Parliament for Tanjung Malim, is MCA’s secretary-general. He returns to the Cabinet after being out in the cold for six years.
He had served ast Housing and Local Government Minister from March 2008 until April 2009 under the administration of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Ong, who is from Lenggong, Perak, is the elder brother of former MCA president, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting who had also held the Housing and Local Government portfolio.
He was a four-term Chenderiang State Assemblyman from 1986 to 1999 and had also contested in the Batu Gajah Parliament in the 11th General Election (PRU-11) in 2004 but lost to Fong Poh Kuan of DAP.
But Ong won the Tanjung Malim Parliament in PRU-12 in 2008 and has held the post for two terms.
He holds a Bachelor in Social Science and Literature from Universiti Malaya and was at one time, an adviser of the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar), Planning and Development Committee.
Najib also promoted three deputy ministers to full ministers, namely, Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Datuk Hamzah Zainudin and Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
Prior to this appointment, Wan Junaidi, 69, was a Deputy Home Minister from May 2013, and was a Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker for five years from 2008.
From Pendam, Sarawak, Wan Junaidi is Santubong Member of Parliament representing Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB). He is married to Datin Feona Sim @ Norjanah and they have three daughters.
Prior to this, Hamzah was a Deputy Foreign Minister and had also been a Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister from April 9, 2009 to April 2013 and Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister from March, 2008 to April 2009.
Member of Parliament for Larut since 2008 until today, Hamzah was born in Batu Gajah, Perak and received his secondary education at Sekolah Tunku Abdul Rahman and concluded his studies at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in quantity surveying.
Mahdzir was born in Pokok Sena, Kedah and, prior to this, held the post of Deputy Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water since 2013.
Mahdzir, 55, holds a Masters in Education from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang.
The father of four is indeed qualified to fill the new post as he was Education Officer for six years from 1984 before becoming a principal at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Gadong, Beaufort, Sabah in 1990.
Reflecting back on Mahdzir’s involvement in politics, he used to be the Political Secretary to Datuk Seri (now Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when the latter was Deputy Prime Minister.
Mahdzir was also a Mentri Besar of Kedah before becoming a Deputy Minister. — Bernama