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Monday, August 30, 2021

New ministers make beeline for palace, PM sits out due to quarantine


Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob will not be able to witness the swearing-in of his cabinet in person because he is under quarantine.

“We would like to inform that the PM began self-quarantine today after he was confirmed as a close contact of a Covid-19 patient,” said Ismail Sabri's office in a statement today.

Meanwhile, vehicles ferrying the new ministers began streaming into Istana Negara from 1pm today. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 2.30pm.

All four senior ministers - Azmin Ali, Hishammuddin Hussein, Fadillah Yusof, and Mohd Radzi Md Jidin - arrived accompanied by police outriders. 

Vehicles belonging to Khairy Jamaluddin (health minister), Rina Harun (women, family, and community development minister), Shahidan Kassim (federal territories minister), Zahidi Zainul Abidin (communications and multimedia deputy minister), and Ismail Mohamed Said (deputy home minister) were also seen entering the palace.

Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin is also believed to be attending the ceremony today.

Separately, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) confirmed that Ismail Sabri will not be able to attend the Merdeka Day event in Putrajaya tomorrow.

"The prime minister will follow the event online," it said.

Ismail Sabri unveiled his cabinet picks last Friday. The new lineup has 70 people in total - 31 ministers and 38 deputy ministers.

This is on par with the number of ministers and deputies in the previous Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, which was criticised as being bloated.

Critics have branded the new cabinet as a “recycled” version of PN’s lineup as it comprised many familiar faces.

The current lineup may be similar to the previous one but Malaysiakini analysed what the changes meant.

- Mkini

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