Prime Minister Announces Cabinet Reshuffle
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced a cabinet reshuffle last week amidst increasing public discontent regarding the state of the Malaysian economy. Despite multiple attempts throughout the 2023 fiscal year to alleviate negative supply shocks and heightened living costs, the Malaysian public remains skeptical as PM Anwar’s coalition government attempts to address economic challenges through the implementation of various fiscal tightening measures.
The recent cabinet reshuffle increased the size of the cabinet from 55 to 60, with the 5 additional ministerial posts marshaling the efforts of the defense, higher education, and finance ministries in support of economic recovery. The Ministry of Finance has received particularly notable assistance with the appointment of Amir Hamzah Azizan, the chief executive of the nation’s largest pension fund as second finance minister.
Recent criticism has cast the reshuffle as an appeal to the ethnic Malay right to remedy the PM’s declining approval ratings, as indicated by national pollster Merdeka Centre. The PM’s unity coalition cabinet currently incorporates members from both the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan blocs but has recently garnered backlash from opposition leaders for its reluctance to address the growing political discontent of Malay nationalists with the coalition government’s handling of the economy.