Malaysia’s first woman health minister says open to advice from past office bearers


Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa clocks in at the Ministry of Health in Putrajaya December 5, 2022. – Malay Mail photo

PUTRAJAYA (Dec 5): Keen to serve, the country’s first woman Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa today said she is open to any help she can get.

This includes suggestions, views and policies from former ministers, even if they belong to a different political party.

“Actually, I’m very open to any help in terms of suggestions, views on matters which former ministers had done or policies drawn.

“But as usual as new ministers, we will get a briefing from the ministry, look at policies that have been proposed previously which we can use, improve or reject.

“That’s something of the norm with any ministry. I will do the same thing, but ultimately I will do the best for the people and as a ministry that is the centre of attention as it is a basic need of the people,” the PKR politician told reporters after clocking in to work today for the first time since being sworn into office.

Dr Zaliha added that she has already been receiving calls from women doctors who raised their concerns.

“I have always put high respect on ladies.

“So being a first lady minister there are many matters which I think will get deserved attention, such as women-based non-governmental organisations.

“These are the challenges that I’d face but that is exciting to me, on the matters which are women and children related.

“I was the former political secretary of Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, in the women’s ministry, so that will help a lot in my job as the first lady health minister,” the Sekijang MP added.

Dr Zaliha joined PKR in 1999 and has held various positions in the party since but this is the first time she has been appointed a minister. – Malay Mail