Here’s what former ministers think of their PH successors

PETALING JAYA: Several Barisan Nasional-era federal ministers have congratulated their successors from Pakatan Harapan, with some agreeing with the choice of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Serian MP Richard Riot Jaem, who was former human resources minister, was full of praise for his successor, the DAP’s M Kulasegaran.

Kulasegaran, he said, was the “perfect” person for the job as he had heard of Kulasegaran’s good work at the Industrial Court, where employee-employer disputes are heard.

Contacted by FMT, he said he hoped Kulasegaran would continue where he had left off and see to it that what he had set in motion would be allowed to bear fruit.

Former education minister Mahdzir Khalid said Maszlee Malik was suitably qualified to be the education minister.

“Malaysians must give him time because our education system is big and complex; we have many different types of schools. But from what I’ve read so far, I like some of his ideas,” he said.

Mahdzir hoped Maszlee would continue the emphasis on empowering the English language and science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.

Other former ministers had this to say to their successors:

Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein, on Mohamed Sabu: “I just want to wish him all the very best. I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to serve Mindef (ministry of defence) and ATM (armed forces) and hope that he will feel the same way once he settles down.”

Former communications and multimedia minister Salleh Said Keruak, on Gobind Singh Deo: “Being an experienced parliamentarian and a practising lawyer, I am confident he has the leadership qualities to helm the ministry.”

Former agriculture and agro-based minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek, on Salahuddin Ayub: “Congratulations and all the best in your new job.”

Former second finance minister Johari Abdul Ghani is confident that Lim Guan Eng as the new finance minister “knows and understands what needs to be done”, adding that the former chief minister has proven himself when he managed Penang.

He said the finance portfolio was currently more powerful than when it was under the previous government.

“Unlike during my time as second finance minister, I did not have that power to do what I think was right for the country. The power at that material time was with PM and the minister of finance,” said Johari.

Thirteen PH leaders were sworn in as ministers before the King yesterday. Dr Mahathir is expected to include at least another 12 ministers to his Cabinet in a week or two.