They said Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department - Economy), Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz (Finance Minister) and Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (International Trade and Industry Minister) could potentially restore the country's economy with their brilliant ideas.
Malaysian Institute of Economic Research chairman Tan Sri Dr Kamal Salih regards Tengku Zafrul, Mustapa and Azmin's experience in economy as invaluable, particularly in addressing various crises including the high cost of living, unemployment and low job opportunities.
"Tengku Zafrul is very experienced in banking and economy, Azmin has experience in managing the economy of a state while Mustapa is an old hand in economy and previously was in the Economic Planning Unit.
"They will work together with the Prime Minister who is also very experienced in the economy, having been Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister previously.
“They are a formidable economic team for our country," he told Bernama.
The appointments of the trio were announced at Putrajaya today by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who nine days earlier was sworn in as Malaysia's eighth premier.
Tengku Zafrul, who was CIMB Group Holdings Bhd’s group chief executive officer and executive director prior to his latest appointment, will be made a Senator to enable him to accept the ministerial post.
He will be assisted by Deputy Finance Minister I, Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri, and Deputy Finance Minister II, Mohd Shahar Abdullah.
Commenting on his appointment, Tengku Zafrul thanked the prime minister for the trust and opportunity to serve the nation, especially at a time when the country is facing unprecedented economic challenges.
“I undertake to give my best to the nation and am looking forward to serve with all the relevant stakeholders in ensuring we remain steadfast and in the spirit of inclusivity, work together to realise our collective aspirations," he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) political analyst, Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, said Tengku Zafrul, Azmin and Mustapa would add value to the country’s new economic growth and the big national agenda to fulfil the aspirations of the people.
"The new team under Tan Sri (Muhyiddin's) leadership will bring changes to the country’s economic landscape with prospects of reducing the burden of the people and improving their living standard,” he said.
Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute Centre chairman (public policy studies) Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said Tengku Zafrul’s appointment was a pleasant surprise and spelled fresh ideas to the government given his solid background in the private sector.
"He is not a non-performer. He is a tried-and-tested finance man. Banking is related to economy and finance, so he got the experience and expertise to handle the job well.
“If he is lacking experience in the government sector, it could be compensated by the civil service,” he said.
Azmin is one of four senior ministers in the cabinet. Others are Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Defence Minister), Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (Works Minister) and Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (Education Minister).
Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar is the Enterpreneur and Cooperative Developmen Minister and Datuk Dr Khairuddin Aman Razali is the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister.