KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government needs “some people with experience”, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad explained today of Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed’s appointment as chairman of the leading Bumiputera Agenda Unit (Teraju).
The appointment of Mustapa, also known as Tok Pa, raised eyebrows in political circles as he is former Umno veteran leader and a relatively new member of Bersatu, the prime minister’s party and a component of PH.
“He has experience. We have very few people with experience in the government and also outside.
“So we need to have some people with experience,” Dr Mahathir told reporters at Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s Balai Islam Complex here.
Mustapa was formerly an international trade and industry minister during the previous Najib administration.
The Jeli MP was named yesterday to head Teraju, a unit directly under the Prime Minister’s Office, for a period of two years.
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who announced Mustapa’s appointment, had said the latter was chosen due to his wide experience in economics, finance, education and trade.
Mustapa also previously served as agriculture and agro-based industry minister from 2008 to 2009, higher education minister from 2006 to 2008, minister in the Prime Minister’s Office from 2004 to 2006, finance minister II from 1998 to 1999, entrepreneurial development minister from 1995 to 1999 and deputy finance minister from 1993 to 1995.
Prior to this, Mustapa was one of two candidates tipped to become the next education minister after Maszlee Malik resigned from the post on January 2.