9 April, 2009

Cabinet Appointment Speech


A NEW GOVERNMENT TO SERVE ONE MALAYSIA

I am very pleased to be with you today to talk with you about my decisions on our new government.

A NEW CABINET, NEW PRIORITIES
As I have spoken to people over recent days, I have seen and heard a desire for renewal and change. A government that responds to the needs of today’s Rakyat and prepared to serve future generations.

I am proud to have selected 28 men and women for our new government who share this passion for our country’s future. I am grateful that they have agreed to serve. They reflect the strength and diversity of the BN coalition which is representative of all Malaysians and all parts of our country… One Malaysia.

What is most important about this new Cabinet are not the things that make us different, but the things we hold in common:

– A sense of integrity and high standards, to preserve the public trust;
– Talent and ability that we will need in these challenging times;
– Loyalty to their party, their government and most importantly their country; and
– A passion to renew our country for a new century.

We will continue to build a government for all of our people…serving the needs of all of our people:

– Renewing our economy to overcome the effects of a global recession, and addressing the structural challenges that will unleash our true potential;
– Building a stronger and united community based on mutual respect and trust;
– Lifting people out of poverty and enhancing real incomes for all;
– Strengthening our educational system;
– Engaging all Malaysians in our political process and broadening our national conversation.

NEW APPROACH TO GOVERNING
My Cabinet will not merely be a new team, with new faces; but equally a repositioning of roles and portfolios. It will also mark a new approach towards a transparent and accountable government, focused on delivery for the people.

I want to begin by introducing a new paradigm for performance and delivering results, through rigorous use of Key Performance Indicators. These indicators will focus on impact, rather than inputs, outcomes, rather than outputs, and ensure that public services deliver value for money.

They will represent our nation’s top strategic priorities, and will be monitored by a new unit that will be overseen by a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

It is my intention that my Ministers and senior civil servants be held accountable for the delivery of these performance indicators. Deputy Ministers – 40 in all – will be assigned specific areas of responsibility. I will instruct Ministers to provide clearly defined KPIs and defined responsibilities for themselves and their Deputies within the next 30 days.

It is my intention that these goals will hold my Government accountable to the rakyat.

So, working with the Minister responsible for overseeing these indicators, I will be personally involved in reviewing the progress of all Ministers every 6 months to ensure their performance is on track, and where it is not, work with them and the civil service to ensure that we remove the barriers to their success. This approach reflects my long held practice of achieving transformation through performance-based leadership.

I want to ensure that the structure of our government is best able to meet the needs of our people; a government that is streamlined to deliver better value for the public and aligned to meet new challenges in new times.

Therefore, I have decided to reduce the number of Ministries in my Cabinet: two Ministries have been disbanded, and their functions absorbed by others.

A renamed Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water has been established, with a mandate to promote sustainable development and the adoption of green technologies.

I have also appointed a Minister in charge of Unity within the Prime Minister’s Department, concurrent with his responsibility for Performance Management. This new portfolio will adopt creative approaches towards promoting national unity, in line with the concept of One Malaysia, People First, Performance Now.

Economic recovery and building long-term prosperity are the top priorities of this government. As such, I will lead our government’s efforts with an experienced, proven economic team working for Malaysia.

Part of this effort will be a new Council of Economic Advisors, reporting directly to me, to provide independent and objective expert advice as we navigate these turbulent economic times and build the foundations for an innovation economy. The Chair of this Council will be of ministerial rank.

And to ensure we maximize Malaysia’s greatest competitive asset – our human capital – the Deputy Prime Minister will lead a strong team focused on unleashing the potential and talent of our country.

I have become convinced that to renew our country, we need to renew our government: a new Cabinet, with new accountability and new structures.

To my Ministers: The people expect us to work tirelessly on their behalf; to listen and learn from them; to never rest in our commitment to One Malaysia. We must never let them down. We have the privilege of serving our nation; we must meet that honour with the utmost dedication and humility.

To Malaysia’s outstanding civil servants: your service is valued and vital to our nation’s long-term prosperity. This will be a demanding government with a deep commitment to the offices we are privileged to hold. We ask you to partner with us; to match our commitment and to give the people of Malaysia your all.

And to the people of Malaysia: let me challenge you…in particular our young people…to become part of our nation’s renewal.

We all must understand that the days of top-down, government-knows-best are behind us. We can only achieve our ambitions for Malaysia when the government of our country and the people of our country work together to build a stronger nation.

Many obstacles lie ahead but I believe there is no problem in our country that cannot be solved by what is great about our country; the strength, skills and talent of our people.

So join us. Join our country’s new team. Join us on this journey to renew Malaysia. Together, it can be our greatest achievement.

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