KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — Newly appointed Finance Minister Senator Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz hopes that the country’s political situation will not have any adverse impact on his work.
Speaking to the press after his swearing in ceremony at the Dewan Negara today, the former CIMB chief executive also said he needs some time to study the country’s economic situation before he can propose any action plans.
“I hope so. What we need now is to focus on the immediate challenges, which is the economic situation,” said Tengku Zafrul when asked regarding possible potential political meddling.
“Please allow me to start my work first. Later today I will be getting the briefing this afternoon and after that it will be better to give my view (on the economic situation and how Budget 2020 had pegged itself on Brent crude oil prices.”
He also admitted that he was humbled and surprised by his appointment, seeing that he is not a politician.
Tengku Zafrul will clock in at his new office at around 4pm today.
Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad on the other hand voiced hope for the Cabinet appointments to finally end the political turmoil in the country.
The former Federal Territories mufti added that his appointment is a “test from Allah” to see if he can carry out his new duties responsibly.
“Insha’ Allah (God’s willing) the political storm in this country will end but we ourselves must stand on firm ground, seeing that Malaysia is a country that we all love,” said Zulkifli who stood out among his fellow senators today as he wore his trademark black robe.
At the same time, MCA deputy president Senator Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon echoed Tengku Zafrul’s sentiments in that he needs time to study his new portfolio as deputy education minister before he can say anything.
Meanwhile, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Senator Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said his main focus is to support his minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
“My top priority would be to support my minister, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican and perhaps continue the good works by my predecessor, YB Syed Saddiq and YB Steven Sim. Those are the top most priority,” said Wan Ahmad.
However, he added that any previous projects or plans initiated by the Muar lawmaker will still have to obtain the approval of the Umno leader before it can continue — including the much-vaunted e-sports initiated by Syed Saddiq.
Deputy Environment Minister Senator Datuk Seri Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad on the other hand said that he needs time to look at the previous administration’s work in his ministry before he can make any commitments.
The political secretary to Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also lauded the good work done by the previous administration.