Thursday, April 9, 2009

Three inspired Cabinet appointments

First of all, thank goodness the rumour of a Chinese Affairs ministry was just flatulence. That would have been disastrous.

There are three particular Cabinet appointments that, I think, are inspired.

Education portfolio
Muhiyiddin's appointment to the Education portfolio has puzzled many. Superficial observers has said that given that this portfolio was handled by erstwhile UMNO Youth leader, Hishamuddin, and, given that, this portfolio was previously seen as a stepping stone to Deputy Prime Ministership, Muhiyiddin is, at best, moving horizontally.

I beg to differ. I think the appointment is a clear signal that Najib is serious about developing the most important resource that Malaysia has, it's human capital. The task is monumental by any means. It needs firm leadership, something that the previous guy was found wanting in.

Primary and Secondary education is the pipeline that supplies the tertiary pool of Malaysian talent.

Moreover, government schools have been losing tremendous "market share" in non-Malay enrolments. If Muhiyiddin can take this bull by the horns and truly institute changes such as improving the teaching skills and, building a more mutli-racial mix of teachers, the government schools will regain lost "market share". To me, this is the surest way to reduce the size of the Chinese and Tamil schools. Create quality education and, parents will enrol their children in government schools by the droves.

Tourism portfolio
The choice of Dr Ng Yen Yen for the Tourism portfolio to replace Azalina is inspired. Some may recall that during her stint as Deputy Minister in the Tourism portfolio, Yen Yen was very effective, particularly, in drawing the Chinese tourism arrivals. Tourism revenues are significant to Malaysia. Given her limitless energy, Yen Yen will be an asset to the Cabinet.

Foreign affairs
Most people would've raised their eyebrows at having Anifah Aman catapult into a very high-profile ministry. He will be the face of Malaysia in international diplomatic circles.

Some may say that Anifah is there by virtue of the leverage that UMNO Sabah now asserts at the UMNO Supreme Council. That may be true from a realpolitik standpoint. But, Anifah's appointment shouldn't be trivialised. He is an urbane and charming man, a trait necessary for this portfolio. He is also a quick thinker and a quick study. This will help him hold his own as Malaysia seeks to re-assert its international eminence.

Besides, he's definitely more interesting than the academic lecturing style of his predecessor which inspires *yawns*.

I think Anifah will make Malaysia look good internationally.


Ti Lian Ker said...

I am inspired by your analysis and observations...good work and mind!

Kama said...

I am absolutely thrilled with the reappointment of Ng Yen Yen, this time as its Minister. I hv the highest regard for her and the fullest confidence in her. That is one woman of integrity.

Anonymous said...

I have a high regard for Hishammudin.
He had done a good job in the education minixtry.
Good luck to him in the new job.
As for Ng Yen Yen, our PM had done a good decision.
I just hope that our health minister care about the needs of the working class who can not just go for any medical check up during day time. And, the hospiotal and clinics are closed after 5pm.
So, for whom are the hospital and clinics open to? The bosses? Could they open up to 10PM? Or, let them be open on week ends (Friday & Saturday in Kelantan , Kedah etc and Sat & Sun for other states).
Pls be needs orientated.

Malaysian said...

I am delighted that Hishammudin had been moved to the Home Ministry.He had done a good job in the education ministry.Wish him all the best.
It is also good that our PM chose Ng Yen Yen to spear head the tourism industry.
Our health ministry had talked about Govn hospitals and clinics to open till 10pm.Any latest news?
Pls be needs orientated.The workers can only visit hospital and clinics after office hours or during weeks day off.So pls do the needies. Unless,the health ministry just wish to please the private doctors who grumble of loss in business.So, is the hospitals meant for the poor or for the bosses?

LightsInTheDistance said...

De Minimis

Can't say i agree with the comments that Hishammudin did a good job for education in this country.

As an aside, there's a great video that explain the concept of games theory especially the "prisoners dilemma" quite beautifully at Mankiw's blog.

Have a great weekend.

Raison D'etre said...


The Education Ministry seems to be a training grounds of sorts for PM to-be but it is also a political minfield of sorts.

The kind that fits the Malay saying of "luah mati mak telan mati bapa".

Imagien having to appease the many voices clamoring for attention.

Hishamuddin is in much simpler place, I say. :)

PS: Yup. No Chinese Affairs Ministry. Phew...