英译原题∶Plenty of old faces in new Cabinet
翻译 ∶DOMINIC LOH
Talking about size, there are three fewer ministers in the new Cabinet line-up, a drop from 31 to 28.
Talking about the ministries, two ministries have been merged, but a new one has also been set up.
Where there is a lack of new faces, the various adjustments made mainly reflect the personnel changes taking place within BN's various component parties.
Muhyiddin Yassin is naturally the choice for DPM, but he is not offered the trade and indutries portfolio this time, but education, which is way out from his financial background and experience.
Najib's explanation: As the education minister, Muhyiddin will have more time staying back in the country!
Hishamuddin has been anticipated to keep his education portfolio, but now finds himself landed in the home ministry. This ministry controls the country's police force, auditing, political ideologies and a host more, and is an amulet for the ruling party.
Over a very long time in the past, the home ministry has been headed either by the prime minister or the deputy prime minister, or at least a senior UMNO minister.
The post is now in the hands of a relatively young Hishamuddin, showing that Najib indeed has a lot of confidence in him.
"The winners in UMNO's party elections have been rewarded handsomely, but the arrangement of Cabinet posts has been rather unexpected."
Another trusted follower of Najib, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been appointed the defence minister, which should consolidate Najib's influences in the defence ministry. As for Shafie Apdal, he is given the rural and regional portfolio, which although is not a key post, should help him develop his grassroots support.
Some of the old faces are reinstated. Rais Yatim, Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Nazri are seen to be there to balance the power structure.
As widely expected, MCA's Ong Ka Chuan has been dropped, while Kong Cho Ha and Ng Yen Yen stay on.
The newly elected UMNO Youth chairman Khairy Jamaluddin has been excluded from Najib's list, but his defeated opponent Mukhriz Mahathir is offered a deputy ministerial post, which is quite unusual.
Nevertheless, as Khairy has been implicated in money politics during the party elections and has yet to be able to clear his name, that should probably explain why he is kept out of the Cabinet.
The new Cabinet has not included non-partisan individuals, a distinct departure from Mahathir and Abdullah's styles. Owing to the reduced number of posts available, the inclusion of a few professionals should perhaps play a more pronounced role in the new Cabinet.
Generally speaking, there are a whole lot more old faces than new ones in Najib's Cabinet, which shouldn't be called a breakthrough by any measure. But where personnel deployment and policy coordination are concerned, it should have been a rather safe thing to do.
Unless BN's component parties could break through their existing confines to recruit plenty of new blood, and these new guys can become elected representatives and subsequently join the administrative line-up, it will be very hard to inject more new blood in a dearth of living water.