Monday, March 10, 2008

Malaysia's New Government Formed

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was sworn in Monday as the prime minister before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, following the victory of the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Saturday's general election.

Abdullah took the oath of office and oath of secrecy at the ceremony which was held at the Balairong Seri of the Istana Negara here at 11.10am after he was presented the instrument of appointment.

Abdullah, 68, assumes the office of prime minister for a second term.

The Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Nur Zahirah, was also present at the ceremony.

Abdullah arrived at the Balairong Seri at 11am, accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor as well as other VIPs were present at the event, which was carried live by Radio Television Malaysia over the RTM1 channel.

Among the VIPs were former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad and several new members of parliament (MPs).

At the ceremony, which took about 20 minutes, Abdullah signed the instrument of appointment before Chief Justice Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamad, which was witnessed by the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan.

The BN won 140 of the 222 parliamentary seats in Saturday's general election, enabling it to garner a simple majority and form the government.

Abdullah retained his Kepala Batas seat in Penang by defeating Subri Md Arshad of PAS with a majority of 11,246 votes.

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