KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 (Bernama) - Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today three more ministers would be appointed to bring the number of Cabinet ministers to 29.
The three ministers could only be appointed after the individuals had been sworn in as senators, he said, indicating that they might not be politicians but professionals.
"We will have (a total of) 29 ministers. We have 26 now, there are three more to go," he said when approached by reporters after the swearing in of 13 more ministers and 23 deputy ministers before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, at Istana Negara.
Thirteen ministers, led by Deputy Prime Minister and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had been sworn in last month.
"So long as they are not sworn in as senators, they cannot be appointed as ministers," said Dr Mahathir. The first meeting of the first session of the 14th Parliament is scheduled to convene from July 16 to Aug 16.
Dr Mahathir said he would have a meeting with the ministers and deputy ministers who were sworn in today to explain to them their roles and responsibilities.
Asked about the appointment of the new Chief Justice to succeed Tun Md Raus Sharif, the Prime Minister said an announcement would be made after Md Raus completes his service at the end of this month.
The government has a candidate but the announcement could not be made right now, he said.
"He (Md Raus) is on leave now. He will go on optional retirement at the end of this month. Then we can announce his successor," he said.