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HomeasiaPM Anwar set to reshuffle Malaysian cabinet on Tuesday: Reports

PM Anwar set to reshuffle Malaysian cabinet on Tuesday: Reports

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is expected to announce changes to his cabinet on Tuesday (Dec 12) in his first leadership reshuffle since taking power a year ago, according to various reports by Malaysian media. 

The Star, citing “highly placed” sources, reported that the cabinet reshuffle is likely to affect “several ministries” and could see the return of “several senior MPs who had previously served as ministers”. 

It added that a few MPs may make their debut as ministers. 

The Bernama news agency said a swearing-in ceremony of federal ministers is scheduled to be held at the Istana Negara at 2.30pm.

Apart from taking the oath of office, loyalty and secrecy, the new members of the cabinet will also be awarded their respective letters of appointment during the ceremony, said the report, citing sources. 

Broadcaster Astro Awani said that the reshuffle will involve “more than six people” and that some ministers will be “swapping portfolios”. 

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The reports come amid speculation that Mr Anwar will announce a major overhaul across different ministries. 

He is expected to announce a new Minister of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living to replace Dr Salahuddin Ayub, who died in July due to a brain haemorrhage. 

Local media have also speculated that Mr Anwar could appoint a second finance minister, with The Star previously reporting that United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) member Johari Abdul Ghani could be a possible candidate. Mr Anwar currently holds the Finance Minister portfolio. 

Mr Johari, who is Member of Parliament for Titiwangsa, served as second finance minister from 2016 to 2018 during former premier Najib Razak’s administration. 

There is also talk that Mr Anwar could make changes to the Ministry of Human Resources as well as the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change. 

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Awani reported that Mr Anwar is reportedly likely to recreate the Ministry of Federal Territories as a standalone entity. The ministry was administratively restructured under the Prime Minister’s Office after the last general election. 

Last month, Mr Anwar’s unity government celebrated its one-year anniversary. Mr Anwar has consolidated power to command a strong majority in parliament, giving him a clear runway to the remainder of his five-year mandate.

However, his approval rating has taken a hit one year after he assumed office, with pollsters citing concerns over the economy and cost of living as drivers for the dip in voter sentiment. 

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