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4 ethnic Indians in new Malaysian cabinet

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi inducts four ethnic Indians including a cabinet minister, Dr S Subramanian, in his new government lineup.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2008 19:16 IST
Jaishree Balasubramanian
Jaishree Balasubramanian

Malaysia's premier on Tuesday inducted four ethnic Indians including a cabinet minister, Dr S Subramanian, in his new government lineup while dropping seven serving ministers to streamline the administration following the ruling coalition's electoral debacle.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, who continued to hold the Finance portfolio, said half the members of his administration were new faces.

Subramaniam, who belongs to the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a component of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, will hold the Human Resources portfolio.

The other ethnic Indians in the cabinet are M Saravanan, who was appointed deputy minister for the Federal Territories Ministry, SK Devamani, deputy minister at the Prime Minister's Department, and A Kohilan Pillay, deputy minister in the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry.

While Saravnan and Devamani are from the MIC, Pillay is from the Gerakan Party.

In the last cabinet, there was one minister, three deputy ministers and three parliamentary secretaries from the MIC. All but Subramaniam, a former parliamentary secretary of the Housing and Local Government, lost their seats in the March 8 polls.

The new cabinet was drawn up based on the spirit of power-sharing and camaraderie of the ruling Barisan Nasional, said the premier, who dropped seven serving ministers, including firebrand leader Rafidah Aziz, considered the world's longest serving trade minister.