PETALING JAYA: Lim Guan Eng, who was named today as the finance minister, has pledged to help all Malaysians to ensure “no one is left out”.
Responding to a question about being the first Chinese Malaysian to be made finance minister after 44 years, Lim said: “I’m Malaysian, I don’t see myself as Chinese.”
He said his first priority would be to review “unfavourable contracts” and “ones that don’t benefit Malaysians”, a reference to election campaign criticism of large investments from China in major infrastructure projects.
“The focus is to help those who find it hard to make ends meet and our focus is to make life easier,” said Lim, who is secretary-general of DAP.
He reiterated Pakatan Harapan’s election campaign promise to abolish the controversial Goods and Services Tax.
Malaya’s first finance minister was HS Lee, a signatory of the Federation of Malaya Agreement with Britain and a co-founder of MCA. Among his duties then was the creation of the Central Bank of Malaya, now Bank Negara Malaysia.
Lee was succeeded by Tan Siew Sin, president of MCA, who held the portfolio from 1959 to 1974.
After Tan relinquished the position, Hussein Onn was appointed and the post has since been filled by ministers from Umno, until the party was ousted in the recent general election.