New Cabinet ministers ready to start work immediately

Datuk Dr Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad, Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal dan Datuk Lim Ban Hong before swearing-in ceremony at Dewan Negara. -NSTP/ASYRAF HAMZAH

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-appointed Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz today pledged to make tackling current economic challenges facing the country his immediate priority.

The former CIMB group chief executive officer is expected to clock in to his new office at 4pm today.

“Please allow me to start work first. Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Zahir, who is the Treasury secretary-general, will be briefing me this afternoon and that will help me have a better view,” he said when met after his swearing-in ceremony at Dewan Negara here, today.

The Senator expressed hope that he will be able to work without any political interference.

“I am very surprised by this appointment. As you know, I am not a politician.

“Anyway, I will do my best for the country. As it is, we are now going through tough times,” he added.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said he will announce his plans for the ministry soon.

He said he hopes to eliminate any form of politicking by negative elements.

“This is the country that we love, and we should build it as best as we can. InsyaAllah,” he told reporters after his swearing-in ceremony at Dewan Negara here.

Meanwhile, Deputy Environment Minister Datuk Dr Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad dismissed talks that he was placed in Cabinet as a proxy of former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Masrizal, who previously served as Zahid’s political secretary, said he was his own man, and is not influenced by anyone.

By Dawn ChanTeh Athira Yuso.

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