At 100-day mark, Anthony Loke, Hannah Yeoh, Fadhlina Sidek named as among Malaysians’ top ministers (VIDEO)
KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s government reached its 100-day mark yesterday.Although 100 days may not be sufficient to fully evaluate the Cabinet’s performance, some ministers seem to have grabbed more attention with their initiatives since taking office in December.To better gauge the general sentiment towards Anwar’s Cabinet members, Malay Mail asked some Malaysians to name those who have impressed them so far.Here are the ministers some Malaysians said were among their favourites:
Transport Minister Anthony Loke goes incognito as he takes the Kelana Jaya LRT line during peak hours for a spot-check, December 5, 2022. — Picture from Facebook/Anthony Loke Siew Fook
Transport Minister Anthony Loke was praised online shortly after he clocked in at his office when he decided to go on an incognito spot-check on the Light Rapid Transit line during peak hours to obtain a first-hand understanding of the public transport issues.The positive sentiment towards him seems to be not only limited to social media platforms but was also reflected on the ground.Academic Mohamad Zaki Samsudin, 45, said he saw Loke as working hard from the very start.“I think Loke is everyone’s favourite because you can see him hitting the ground running right from the start.”Echoing this was 23-year-old university student Kiefer Chor Fu Zhung, who said he was impressed to see Loke conducting spot-checks at KLIA and train stations.“I find it impressive that he is doing this on his own will to find solutions and improve our transportation system.”Senior executive Simon Doss, 60, said he was happy to see Loke taking the transport portfolio as he believed the country’s public transportation system needed improvement.Doss said he was impressed by Loke’s swift action and initiatives over the past 100 days.“He is moving very fast. I hope he can improve the overall public transportation system in Malaysia.”This is the second time Loke has been appointed as the transport minister, with his first stint being during Pakatan Harapan’s 22-month term under the leadership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2018.
Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh has pledged to focus on making sports accessible, looking after the welfare of athletes as well as ensuring youth development in the country. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Hannah Yeoh is the second woman to helm the Youth and Sports Ministry.The only woman to hold this post previously was Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.Yeoh clocked in at her ministry on December 6 with a pledge to focus on making sports accessible, looking after the welfare of athletes as well as ensuring youth development in the country.Chor said he noticed Yeoh being proactive in visiting sports facilities and associations to ensure the country’s sport is on the right path to be competitive with other countries.“It is good to see her visiting the Badminton Association of Malaysia and the Football Association of Malaysia.“She has been giving a lot of ideas on how to improve the national sports,” Chor said.Chor felt that sports in neighbouring countries like Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand has developed more than in Malaysia.“That’s why we need new ideas to improve our sports,” he said.Doss, on the other hand, said he was impressed with Yeoh’s firm disciplinary action for the volleyball coach who slapped teenage players in a viral video in January.“Yeoh did a good job [to tackle the issue],” Doss said.“Sometimes, punishment must be given to ensure others won’t repeat the same mistake.”Early in January, a video went viral showing a volleyball coach slapping two teenage girls during the Under-14 Youth Volleyball Championship in Kota Tinggi, Johor.
Following the incident, the Education Ministry and Youth and Sports Ministry announced that the licence of the coach was revoked and he was prohibited from conducting any training activities.
Fadhlina Sidek is the first woman in Malaysia to head its Education Ministry. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Fadhlina Sidek became the first woman in Malaysia to helm the Education Ministry with her appointment on December 5.The education portfolio has always been one of the main focuses during new Cabinet appointments due to its nation-building importance.Mohamad Zaki said he liked the efforts put in by Fadhlina so far.“Although there are people who may criticise her for being slow at the start, you can see that she is really trying to understand the complexity of the whole education issues we have in Malaysia.“She has been making a lot of good moves and announcements in the past few weeks,” he said.Mohamad Zaki, who is an academic at a private university, said he wished to see Fadhlina keeping up the momentum for the rest of her term.Fadhlina, who has experience as a social activist and lawyer in Islamic family law and child welfare, has been seen addressing some of the pressing issues in the education system since she took office.In January, she instructed the National Education Advisory Council to prepare a report and pay attention to the workload and welfare of teachers.She also issued a stern warning that the government will not allow any sort of extremism and racism to infiltrate the country’s national education system.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir (right) at the Asean Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Jakarta. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir
The first 100 days of the unity government were certainly a busy one for Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir.“I think Zambry has really restored our reputation and relationship with our neighbouring countries,” Mohamad Zaki.“I can see that he has been working closely with our prime minister on [foreign policy and bilateral relations].”Soon after he took office, Anwar received as well as visited the leaders from neighbouring countries.Over the past 100 days, Anwar met top officials from Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippine, Timor-Leste, Turkey and Germany.Similarly, Zambry was also seen hosting or visiting his counterparts from other countries in an effort to strengthen bilateral relationships between Malaysia and them.Although the general sentiment towards Anwar’s administration remains positive, some chose to reserve judgement until more time has passed.University lecturer Murina Pawanteh said she preferred to look beyond the 100 days before judging the government’s performance.“We have to look beyond the 100 days.“There is a lot of restructuring that needs to be done which requires time.”So far, Murina said she found some of the government’s initiatives like the Menu Rahmah useful for the people.“Some may not find it useful but I think it’s a great initiative because it brought big chains of restaurants and establish brands on board to offer something that’s beneficial to many groups of people.”Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub launched the Menu Rahmah initiative on January 31 as part of the government’s short-term efforts to mitigate the cost-of-living crisis for low-income earners.The programme brought together private firms offering balanced meals and a drink for no more than RM5, all without government funding or subsidies.