PUTRAJAYA, July 28 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the decision to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in the Cabinet was a difficult one indeed but it had to be taken for the Cabinet to function as one solid and unified team.
The Prime Minister, who dropped Muhyiddin in a Cabinet reshuffle announced today, said it was necessary for the Cabinet to function as one solid and unified team in any situation, to focus on development plans and the challenges facing the nation.
“The decision to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was very difficult, but leadership is about doing what you think is right. To deliver for Malaysia, I must have a solid and unified team moving in the same direction.
“I welcome vigorous debate, and can accept dissent and criticism. However, this process should take place in the Cabinet as part of the decision-making process.
“Members of the Cabinet should not air their differences in an open forum that can affect public opinion against the Government and Malaysia.
“It is contrary to the concept of collective responsibility that is the foundation of Cabinet Government,” he said after announcing the Cabinet reshuffle at the Perdana Putra building here.
Najib thanked Muhyiddin for all his work and dedication to the Government and country. He also thanked those ministers who were no longer in the Cabinet.
In the Cabinet reshuffle, Najib dropped Muhyiddin as the deputy prime minister and replaced him with Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He also dropped four other ministers, namely Datuk Seri Hasan Malek (Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism), Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (Rural and Regional Development), Datuk Seri G. Palanivel (Natural Resources and Environment) and Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin (Science, Technology and Innovation).
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek will take up the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry portfolio.
He takes over the position of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is now Rural and Regional Development Minister.
The Higher Education Ministry has been re-created and led by Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
Najib also announced nine new deputy ministers who include Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, the Public Accounts Committee chairman; Puteri Umno chief Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and Kepala Batas member of Parliament Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
They are deputy ministers for the Home Rural and Regional Development; Tourism and Culture; and Foreign ministries respectively.
The other deputy ministers are Datuk Wira Mohd Johari Baharum (Defence Ministry), Senator Datuk Dr Ashraf Wajdi Dusuki (Prime Minister’s Department), Chong Sin Woon (Education Ministry), Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakob (Rural and Regional Development Ministry), Masir Kujat (Home Ministry) and Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani (Finance Ministry).
The new cabinet line-up involves 25 ministries and 37 ministers compared to 24 ministries and 32 ministers before this.