Cabinet of Malaysia

The Cabinet of Malaysia (Malay: Jemaah Menteri Malaysia) is the executive branch of the Government of Malaysia. Led by the Prime Minister, the cabinet is a council of ministers who are accountable collectively to the Parliament. According to the Article 43 of the Federal Constitution, members of the Cabinet can only be selected from members of either houses of Parliament. Formally, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints all Ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister.[1] The constitution is amended by repealing the Clause (8) of Article 43, enabling a person who is a member of State Legislative Assembly to continue to serve even while serving as a minister or deputy minister in the cabinet. Ministers other than the Prime Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, unless the appointment of any Minister shall have been revoked by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister but any Minister may resign from office. In practice, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is obliged to follow the advice of the Prime Minister on the appointment and dismissal of ministers.

Cabinet appointments

Members of the Cabinet must be members of either house of Parliament. Most ministers are appointed from the lower house, the Dewan Rakyat, although a few are appointed from the upper house, the Dewan Negara. The Prime Minister must be a member of the Dewan Rakyat. Although Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries may be appointed to each portfolio, they are not included in the Cabinet. The Cabinet meets weekly, every Wednesday.[2] After the position of Parliamentary Secretary was removed and partial live telecasts of Parliament proceedings began in 2008, Cabinet meetings were moved to Fridays whenever Parliament sat, so as to allow Ministers to personally answer questions during Question Time in Parliament.[3]

Cabinet composition

The composition of the Cabinet, and the number of portfolios depends mainly on the wishes of the Prime Minister at the time. However, the post of Finance Minister was considered so important as to be a necessity, and as a result was incorporated by the Minister of Finance (Incorporation) Act 1957 (Act 375).[4] The position of Deputy Prime Minister is one that exists by convention, and as a result a Prime Minister could theoretically form a Cabinet without a Deputy.[5]

Deputy ministers exist for each portfolio, although they are not considered members of the Cabinet. The position of Deputy Minister was created by constitutional amendment in 1960. The office of parliamentary secretary for each ministry exists but none were appointed after the 2008 Malaysian general election. Parliamentary secretaries were provided for by an amendment in 1963. Deputy ministers and parliamentary secretaries are also appointed from members of Parliament, and deputise for the ministers in government ministries and in Parliament respectively. An additional office, that of the Political Secretary, exists. Political Secretaries need not be members of Parliament. Before taking office, all members of the Cabinet, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, and Political Secretaries take an oath of secrecy concerning the proceedings of the Cabinet.[5]

Functions of cabinet

An outline of the functions of the Cabinet are as follows:[6]

  • To formulate national economic policies and development programmes.
    • The Cabinet is responsible to formulate various development programs and projects for the development of the country. Examples are the New Economic Policy (NEP), the National Development Policy (NDP), and the National Vision Policy (NVP).
  • To set the budget and finance of the country.
    • The government is allowed to generate revenues from the people through the collection of taxes, fines, summons, custom duties, fees, etc.
    • The government is allowed to plan for the various development programs, and also to allocate the resources for these development plans and programs.
  • As an arena for suggestions, debates, and criticisms.
    • The Cabinet is allowed to discuss almost any issues of national interests, except those that touch on the special rights of the Malays, Bumiputeras and/or royal privileges. Article 153 (1): It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and Natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak, and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
  • To propose and amend the law.
    • Law is proposed by the Executive and introduce in Parliament with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd readings for approval.
    • Most provisions for the amendments of the constitution requires a 2/3 majority of the total number of members from both of the Houses (Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat)
    • The bill must be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the final assent.

List of cabinets

23 cabinets have taken place in Malaysia since 1957 headed by nine Prime Ministers.

No. Name of Cabinet Head of Cabinet Period of Office Composition
1 Rahman I Tunku Abdul Rahman 31 August 1957 – 19 August 1959
  • 13 ministers
2 Rahman II 22 August 1959 – 24 April 1964
  • 16 ministers
  • 6 assistant ministers
3 Rahman III 25 April 1964 – 1969
  • 20 ministers
  • 5 assistant ministers
  • 4 parliamentary secretaries
4 Rahman IV 1969 – 21 December 1970 9 ministers
5 Razak I Abdul Razak Hussein 22 December 1970 – 24 August 1974
  • 22 ministers
  • 7 deputy ministers
  • 5 parliamentary secretaries
6 Razak II 25 August 1974 – 14 January 1976
  • 20 ministers
  • 16 deputy ministers
  • 9 parliamentary secretaries
7 Hussein I Hussein Onn 15 January 1976 – 8 July 1978
  • 22 ministers
  • 20 deputy ministers
  • 8 parliamentary secretaries
8 Hussein II 9 July 1978 – 15 July 1981
  • 23 ministers
  • 22 deputy ministers
  • 9 parliamentary secretaries
9 Mahathir I Mahathir Mohamad 16 July 1981 – 21 April 1982
  • 24 ministers
  • 22 deputy ministers
  • 10 parliamentary secretaries
10 Mahathir II 22 April 1982 – 2 August 1986
  • 24 ministers
  • 29 deputy ministers
  • 9 parliamentary secretaries
11 Mahathir III 11 August 1986 – 26 October 1990
  • 24 ministers
  • 31 deputy ministers
  • 10 parliamentary secretaries
12 Mahathir IV 22 October 1990 – 3 May 1995
  • 26 ministers
  • 30 deputy ministers
  • 14 parliamentary secretaries
13 Mahathir V 4 May 1995 – 14 December 1999
  • 30 ministers
  • 27 deputy ministers
  • 14 parliamentary secretaries
14 Mahathir VI 15 December 1999 – 2 November 2003
  • 30 ministers
  • 28 deputy ministers
  • 16 parliamentary secretaries
15 Abdullah I Abdullah Ahmad Badawi 3 November 2003 – 26 March 2004
  • 31 ministers
  • 29 deputy ministers
  • 16 parliamentary secretaries
16 Abdullah II 27 March 2004 – 18 March 2008
  • 34 ministers
  • 39 deputy ministers
  • 20 parliamentary secretaries
17 Abdullah III 19 March 2008 – 9 April 2009
  • 32 ministers
  • 38 deputy ministers
18 Najib I Najib Razak 10 April 2009 – 15 May 2013
  • 33 ministers
  • 40 deputy ministers
19 Najib II 16 May 2013 – 9 May 2018
  • 38 ministers
  • 34 deputy ministers
20 Mahathir VII Mahathir Mohamad 10 May 2018 – 24 February 2020
  • 28 ministers
  • 27 deputy ministers
21 Muhyiddin Muhyiddin Yassin 1 March 2020 – 16 August 2021
  • 32 ministers
  • 38 deputy ministers
22 Ismail Sabri Ismail Sabri Yaakob 27 August 2021 – 24 November 2022
  • 32 ministers
  • 38 deputy ministers
23 Anwar Anwar Ibrahim 24 November 2022 – present
  • 28 ministers
  • 27 deputy ministers

Current cabinet

Inactive portfolio

Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security

Ministry of Digital Communications

Ministry of Domestic Trade and Living Costs

Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Co-operatives

Ministry of Territories

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Finance

Ministry of Home Affairs

  • Ministry of Home Affairs and Justice
  • Ministry of Internal Security
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Law
  • Ministry of the Interior

Ministry of Human Resources

Ministry of International Trade and Industry

Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources

Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities

Ministry of Rural and Regional Development

  • Ministry of National and Rural Development
  • Ministry of Rural Development
  • Ministry of Rural Economy Development

Ministry of Science and Technology

Ministry of Tourism

Ministry of Local Government Development

Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development

Ministry of Works

Ministry of Youth and Sports

  • Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports
  • Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports

Ministry of Health

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department

  • Minister with Special Functions
  • Minister with Special Functions for Foreign Affairs
  • Minister without Portfolio


See also


  1. Hj. Mohd Jali, Nazaruddin, Redzuan, Ma'arof, Abu Samah, Asnarulkhadi & Hj. Mohd Rashid, Ismail (2003). Malaysian Studies: Nationhood and Citizenship, p. 73. Pearson Malaysia. ISBN 983-2473-91-8.
  2. Funston, John (2001). "Malaysia: Developmental State Challenged". In John Funston (Ed.), Government and Politics in Southeast Asia, pp. 173175. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
  3. "Cabinet now to meet Fridays for ministers to attend parliament". The Malaysian Insider. 9 April 2008. Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  4. Wu, Min Aun & Hickling, R. H. (2003). Hickling's Malaysian Public Law, pp. 8485. Petaling Jaya: Pearson Malaysia. ISBN 983-74-2518-0.
  5. Wu & Hickling, p. 86.
  6. Jeong Chun Hai @ Ibrahim, & Nor Fadzlina Nawi. (2012). Principles of Public Administration: Malaysian Perspectives. Kuala Lumpur: Pearson Publishers. ISBN 978-967-349-233-6
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