KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — New Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has appointed an ethnic Chinese as finance minister, the first ethnic minority to hold the powerful post in 44 years.
In addition to naming Lim Guan Eng, a former state chief minister, as finance minister, Mahathir on Saturday also named former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as home affairs minister and Mohamad Sabu as defense minister.
The three are leaders of the four parties in Mahathir’s alliance, which scored a stunning election victory Wednesday by ousting the coalition that had ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957.
Mahathir said the rest of his 25-member Cabinet would be named this coming week.
He also said a special council including Hong Kong-based Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok would be set up to advise the government.