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CAPABLE: State executive council includes two women
KUALA KANGSAR: NINE assemblymen, including six new faces, were sworn in as state executive councillors before the Regent of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, yesterday.
Another exco post has been reserved for the sole MCA representative Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, pending the party's reversal of its earlier decision not to accept any state and federal posts after its dismal performance in the 13th General Election.
The new faces are Datuk Rusnah Kassim (Behrang), Datuk Samsudin Abu Hassan (Ayer Kuning), Mohd Nizar Zakaria (Belanja), Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi (Tualang Sekah), Dr Muhammad Amin Zakaria (Batu Kurau) and Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya (Rungkup).
The three retained were Datuk Saarani Mohamad (Kota Tampan), Datuk Mohamad Zahir Abdul Khalid (Kamunting) and Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin (Sungai Manik).
This is the second time in the state's history that the exco line-up has two women representatives.The first was in 1999.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at Istana Iskandariah here. Present were Raja Puan Besar Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Raja DiHilir Perak Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa and Raja Puan Muda Perak Raja Nor Mahani Raja Shahar Shah.
Also present were Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, his wife, Datin Seri Saripah Zulkifli, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz as well as several opposition assemblymen. Dr Mah was also at the ceremony.
Speaking to reporters at his official residence in Ipoh after the event, Zambry, who was sworn in as menteri besar on May 7, announced the portfolios for his exco members.
He also reminded them that their appointment as exco members should not be looked on as a privilege, but rather a mandate and trust given to them to serve the rakyat.
"This team of exco members will have to move forward and deliberate on issues of today and tomorrow, and not what happened yesterday.
"They are highly capable individuals with vast experience and diverse expertise who will execute the duties given to them to the best of their abilities."
He said as for the other elected representatives who were not appointed as exco members, they, too, would be given key roles in the numerous state departments and agencies.
When asked if there would be a reshuffle should Dr Mah join the exco line-up, Zambry said there was a possibility.
"In fact, the performance of each and every exco member will be reviewed annually, which may warrant an annual swearing-in.
"This is in line with the request made by the ruler."
On key roles to be given to Gerakan and MIC representatives, Zambry said he would look into the matter and make an announcement in due time.
Regarding MCA, he said he respected the party's decision made during its EGM, but would ensure that Dr Mah be given heavy responsibility to serve the people.
"MCA cannot prevent him from executing his responsibility as he is chosen by the people to serve them.
"It is only right for us to have proper representation from the various Barisan Nasional component parties."
For Shahrul Zaman, his stint as the political secretary to Ahmad Zahid, who was then the defence minister, had enabled him to learn a lot of things that could be used to assist Zambry to govern the state.
"Together with Zambry's leadership, I believe we can bring greater development to the state," he said, adding that the mixture of -- "old guards" and the "new faces" -- would ensure continuity as well as bring in more aggressive and fresh ideas.
"I will work hard and work together with the other exco members," he said.
Muhammad Amin, who was the former director of Kolej Professional Mara in Ayer Molek, Malacca, believed that his specialty in education could be used to improve the state's educational standard.
Nolee Ashilin said she was keen to work with youth and to let their voices be heard.
"There are some issues regarding youth that I can help solve, be it in urban or rural areas."
Nolee Ashilin, an accountant by profession, said having two women in the line-up, including Rusnah, was a recognition for women.
"Even if it is still below the 30 per cent quota for women to be included as decision-makers, it still proves to be a good mandate for women.
"Hopefully, we can get three next term."
As for Saarani, he said, he would continue to work towards the realisation of the Perak Amanjaya development blueprint.
"As one of the exco members who had worked with Zambry before, it is my task to help bring more development to the state.
"We will also work together to bring all the people together and foster greater unity."