15th March, 2008
KOTA KINABALU: Two new faces were appointed to the new State Cabinet sworn in yesterday. But, Pantai Manis Assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail who previously held the Agriculture and Food Industry portfolio was dropped. The two new ministers are Klias Assemblywoman Datuk Azizah Mond Dun and Karamunting Assemblyman Peter Pang.
Azizah has been appointed Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister while Pang, the Youth and Sports Minister. The Youth and Sports portfolio was previously held by Datuk Liew Yun Fah who did not seek re-election in last weekend’s general election. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the exclusion of Rahim from the Cabinet line-up was a normal thing.
“It is not because he (Rahim) did not do a good job but it is a normal thing which also happens in other states, and there is also a change of members in the Federal Cabinet,” he told reporters at Sri Gaya after the swearing-in of the new Cabinet Ministers and Assistant Ministers at Istana Negeri here yesterday. “We have also appointed a woman elected representative to the Cabinet,” he said, adding that previously the women elected representatives were only Assistant Ministers.
On the appointment of Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun as a Cabinet Minister, Musa said there were requests and suggestions previously from women non-governmental organisations to appoint a woman as a full Minister.
And on why former Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Karim Bujang was not reappointed, the Chief Minister said he declined to be reappointed.
On the addition of Assistant Ministers, he said this was because there were 60 state constituencies and it was also to give them an opportunity to serve more effectively.
“In view of the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the implementation of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), many ministries would be very busy carrying out their respective duties. “As such several Ministers have two deputies to assist them,” he said. There are now 18 Assistant Ministers as compared with 14 previously.
The ministries which now have two Assistant Ministers are Finance; Tourism, Culture and Environment; and Local Government and Housing. The Agriculture and Food Industry already had two Assistant Ministers previously. Meanwhile, Datuk Joseph Pairin, Datuk Yahya Hussin and Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah were retained as Deputy Chief Ministers. Pairin who is Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president is also the Rural Development Minister while Yahya and Tan head the Agriculture and Food Industry and Infrastructure Development ministries, respectively.
The other ministers who were also retained are Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor (Local Government and Housing), Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai (Resource Development and IT), Datuk Masidi Manjun (Tourism, Culture and Environment), Datuk Ewon Ebin (Industrial Development) and Datuk Nasir Tun Sakaran (Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department).
The new Assistant Ministers are Datuk Musbah Jamli, Datuk Sairin Karno, Donald Mojuntin, Datuk Michael Asang, Datuk Ellron Angin, Herbert Tiimbun Lagadan, Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar and Bolkiah Ismail.
The other Assistant Ministers who were retained are Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, Edward Yong, Datuk Edward Khoo, Datuk Radin Malleh, Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur, Datuk Bobbey Suan, Melanie Chia and Datuk Japlin Akim. Some of them were given new portfolios.
All the Ministers and Assistant Ministers received their letters of appointment from Head of State Tun Haji Ahmadshah Abdullah.