LAST_UPDATEMon, 23 Jul 2018 8pm

Syed Saddiq Makes History As The Youngest Minister, The Previous Record Was Held By Najib

The Youth & Sports Minister (KBS) post is a daunting challenge for anyone in the new Pakatan Harapan government to live up to its predecessor , especially after the ministry is basically synonymous with the iconic and youth-friendly Khairy Jamaluddin.

Starting yesterday, the portfolio is now held by the 26-year-old greenhorn politician Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, who is one of the 13 new Cabinet members sworn-in into the office in front of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara.

The ceremony which was held at the Balairong Seri also saw 23 deputy ministers taking their oaths into office, as witnessed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Born on December 6, 1992, Syed Saddiq is the poster child for Pakatan Harapan (PH) especially in the run-up to the 14thGeneral Election (GE14), and had been tipped to replace Khairy Jamaluddin as the KBS minister after the coalition’s historic victory.

Interestingly, the appointment of the Armada Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chief as a full Cabinet member creates a new record in the history of the Malaysian government, after Syed Saddiq becomes the youngest politician to hold a Cabinet post.

Previously, the title of the youngest Cabinet member is held by Datuk Seri Najib Razak more than four decades ago – when he was elected as the Deputy Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Post in 1978 at 25 years old before becoming the KBS minister eight years later.

With yesterday’s appointment, Syed Saddiq also becomes the 18th minister for KBS since the past 54 years.

Just like his immediate predecessor, the Royal Military College alumnus also was given the opportunity to grace the front cover of men’s lifestyle magazine GLAM Lelaki in the 2018 July edition.

The appointment of the Muar MP and three-time Asia’s best debater to lead the ministry is received well by his compatriots, describing him as a new chapter for the development of sports and youth in the country.

“The entire KBS congratulates and welcomes the new Youth & Sports Minister, YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and his deputy, YB Steven Sim Chee Keong.

“A new beginning, for the continuous development of the country’s youth and sports,” the ministry tweets.

Meanwhile, Khairy congratulates his successor, praying for the ministry’s success under a new leadership.

“Congratulations Syed Saddiq for his appointment a Youth & Sports Minister. I pray for him to take KBS to greater heights,” he tweets.

Heavy Responsibilities Ahead

In his first statement, the new minister admits the huge responsibility but believes that he can commit to task with the collaboration of the entire ministry.

“The government believes that the fate and future of the youth should be shaped by themselves, hence we should provide the avenue for them to lead the country.

“The government is determined to champion local sports in a thorough and fair manner. In fact, Malaysia will continue to make its mark in the management, facilities and affairs for the athletes who will bring glory in local and international arenas.

“The affairs of athletes will continue to be taken care of,” the Muar MP says in a statement.

'Tall, Fair and Handsome'

Netizens are welcoming their new Youth & Sports Minister with high optimism, who is nicknamed as ‘along’ – a Malay slang for the eldest child – to continue the greatness left by ‘abah’ Khairy.

While his predecessor was nicknamed 'tall, dark and handsome' for his exploits in outdoor sports, the youthful new minister who is a self-confessed gamer in his schooling days is more likely to earn the label, 'tall, fair and handsome'.

Nevertheless, he has shown his humility in acknowledging his predecessor's immense legacy in a tweet to Khairy yesterday, pointing out that he has "a big shoe to fill".

Malaysian Digest congratulates the new Cabinet members for their appointments, and for Syed Saddiq, a fervent hope that he will continue Khairy’s trailblazing work in developing sporting greatness for the country!

-- mD