PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his deputy, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, will both hold additional ministerial portfolios in the cabinet.
Dr Mahathir will assume the Education Minister portfolio, while Dr Wan Azizah, who is Deputy Prime Minister, will also serve as the Women Affairs Minister.
When asked on why he is taking on the education portfolio, Dr Mahathir said he felt that the country’s education system needs to be changed.
“I took over education portfolio because there are so many people who are uneducated. Besides, our way of teaching is outdated and so we need to decide a new way of teaching,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was speaking at a press conference after a Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting at the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) headquarters at Menara Yayasan Selangor.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said he hopes to announce the names of all 10 cabinet ministers by Friday (May18).
“But if I can’t do it (by tomorrow), then I will do it over the weekend.
“The reason for the delay of the cabinet line-up is due to overlapping as there are some who want to hold certain portfolios,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said 13 ministers will be sworn in on Monday (May 20), if they obtain the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“Five ministers have been decided upon. I will be the Education Minister while Dr Wan Azizah will hold the Ministry of Women Affairs.
“The swearing-in ceremony for ministers this Monday will only involve 13 people,” he said.
Dr Mahathir has so far announced only three other cabinet ministers apart from himself and Dr Wan Azizah. They are Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Lim Guan Eng as Finance Minister and Mohamad Sabu as Defence Minister.
Fielding a question on nepotism, Dr Mahathir said that while nepotism will not be practised in the cabinet, he noted that the appointment of ministers are done based on their own merit. He said it would not be fair to omit someone who is capable simply because of family ties.
He also said the cabinet composition will not be based on the strength of the component parties under PH, but based on the ability of each individual.
The prime minister also did not rule out the possibility of adding more ministers in the future, saying this will be based on the necessity and support of the people.